Reading somehow managed to blow a 4-0 lead over Arsenal during the latter’s 7-5 League Cup triumph on Tuesday night, a humiliating result for the hosts, even taking into account that ” Theo Walcott’s regulation-time equaliser was scored in the 63rd of the four extra minutes added on by the referee”. Still, ” a four-goal recovery is a four-goal recovery is a four-goal recovery” writes The Guardian’s Scott Murray.
As for Reading, well, everyone has their off days, like Arsenal did when shipping eight at Old Trafford last season, or like Arsenal will when shipping eight at Old Trafford this coming Saturday, unless they get their act together sharpish. But nevertheless, having become the first-ever team to score five times in an English domestic cup game yet still lose, the crumbling Biscuitmen could take some time to get over this. “It’s embarrassing for us all,” stuttered Reading boss Brian McDermott, who has given his players two days off to recover, during which they have been advised to go home and sit in the shower while holding their knees and rocking quite a lot. “I might throw the DVD of this game in the bin,” McDermott added, eschewing professional analysis in favour of going home and sitting in the shower while holding his knees and rocking quite a lot.
Pittsburgh’s ill-advised decision to put their Florida instructional league prospects thru Navy SEALS drills has been ridiculed far and wide, but Pirates club president Frank Cooley (above) insists, “nothing could be further from the truth” when it comes to claims his players are poorly prepared. Indeed, the next time something like this happens, there’s no one you’d rather have on your side. From the Altoona Mirror’s Cory Gigers :
“When we struggled at the end of last year, there were a lot of things that were overblown, in my opinion, because people were rightly frustrated and disappointed in the major league team’s play over the last two months,” Coonelly said on my radio show Tuesday while attending the Curve Booster Club’s annual members-only dinner at the UVA Club.
Coonelly addressed what he thinks is the issue, and his words sounded at least in part like an explanation for Kyle Stark’s highly unusual implementation of a military-type training regimen for minor leaguers after the season.
“It’s mental conditioning,” Coonelly said, “the mental toughness that is more of an issue than the player hasn’t been drilled, hasn’t been trained on these things, doesn’t know how to do them.
“It’s performing the fundamentals of the game in the highest pressure situation, and so we continue to work with our players throughout our system … teaching them how to perform well under pressure situations, how to control their emotions, how to be mentally and physically tough so that when they face the adversity, whether it be in the minor leagues or when they come up to Pittsburgh, they’re prepared.”
While some of KG’s NBA brethren participate in anti-bullying PSA’s, look forward to our Kev shooting an altogether different type of video for the kids. ie., “How To Remain A Hard Ass Well Into Your Late 30′s”.
Golden State’s 2012-13 season starts tomorrow night in Phoenix, an occasion that led Sports Illustrated to poll an unidentified NBA scout for his unexpurgated thoughts concerning the Warriors roster. To say he’s taking Mark Jackson’s squad lightly would be an understatement ; Andrew Bogut is “nothing special”. Stephen Curry is compared to Grant Hill (ie. the Grant Hill that was frequently injured) and Richard Jefferson is “paid way too much money and he thinks he’s better than he is.” And thru all of that, it’s former Knicks F/C David Lee — “a great guy, but talk about overrated” — who receives the harshest criticism.
Lee is looking for his own numbers big-time. I’m guessing he leads the league in rebounds off missed free throws. He has turned himself into a 20-and-10 guy — an accomplishment, for sure. But he’s never been a guy who is constantly helping on defense. The story you hear from the Knicks is that his teammates used to call him FEMA, because he’s never there when you need him. Lee is always there when he can take a charge, but when you’re getting beat around the basket after contesting a shot because you’re trying to make a play, he’s not coming over to cover for you. He takes charges and pumps his fist, but when you really watch him you see the things he doesn’t do.
Lee has a lot going for him, though. He has a reputation for being a gym rat and he does a lot of things well. But what you need from him first and foremost is to be a defender, and he’s just not that guy. You can’t put up those kinds of numbers without being a hell of an NBA player, but I don’t think you can win with him. Maybe if he were playing for somebody who had juice, like one of the Van Gundy brothers or Gregg Popovich or Tom Thibodeau, then you could get the best out of him. If he played for a coach who cared about the defensive end and would put him on the bench, then maybe Lee could have an unbelievable career. But Mike D’Antoni didn’t emphasize the defensive assignments, and Mark Jackson doesn’t care about them, either.
We’re two days away from the very first Brooklyn Nets regular season home game, and what better time could there be for the New York Post’s Steve Serby to interrogate Gerald WallaceAvery JohnsonTornike Shengelia owner Mikhail Prokhorov? In Serby’s not-quite-extensive Q&A we learn (amongst other things) that Prokhorov’s ideal mate is “beautiful, smart, sexy and makes a mean bowl of borscht.”
Q: Best piece of advice your mother or father gave you.
A: It’s a long story, but basically I had written an essay in school about wanting to grow up to be a Red Army commander, because I’d seen in a film how well they ate and, as I was in the middle of a growth spurt, I was hungry all the time. The school called in my parents and asked them why they weren’t feeding their child. They were aghast. At that point my parents told me: “It’s bad to lie, but you don’t have to tell everybody everything.” They made me re-write my essay to say I wanted to grow up to be a cosmonaut.
Just before the entire East Coast ends up underwater, the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg recalls a Sandy (fire)storm of an entirely different sort, collecting various press accounts of the January, 1985 evening in which Redskins RB John Riggins attended the National Press Club Foundation’s annual banquet. Riggins, famously said to have dozed off during President George Bush’s speech, had the good fortune to be seated next to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, says of the incident, “we’re linked together for life, which is good for me, but not so good for her.” From the AP :
One of those at Riggins’ table, People’s Washington bureau chief Garry Clifford, confirmed that Riggins told Mrs. O’Connor, “Come on Sandy baby, loosen up. You’re too tight.”
Ms. Clifford said the justice laughed and appeared not to be insulted. “It was a very funny evening…No one was dying of embarrassment,” she said.
Associated Press photographer Ron Edmonds said he stepped over somebody sprawled on the floor at the end of the evening, not recognizing the person as Riggins.
“They took him out the VIP door,” said Edmonds. “They were dragging him, feet behind.” He said the person being dragged was mumbling incoherently.
Those who have the misfortune of following the Twitter feed of former Chicago Sun-Times / AOL Sports columnist Jay Mariotti are already well aware the longtime “Around The Horn” fixture can rarely resist the opportunity to remind his followers that a) crazy ladies like to set guys up for a fall, b) the LAPD treat honest fellas (who never hit women) like crap and c) LIFE’S FUCKING AWESOME LIVING NEAR THE BEACH. The Sherman Report’s Ed Sherman interviewed Mariotti recently, who seems rather fixated on the above themes, along with remaining wildly optimistic about his future employment prospects (“I’m mulling over three possibilities — all terrific jobs. If they happen, great. If not, Mumford & Sons are coming to the Hollywood Bowl next week.”)
How have/will your legal issues impact your ability to get hired? For lack of a better word, are you “tainted”?
Ever see “Fatal Attraction,” the movie? I often felt like Michael Douglas. But that doesn’t matter in post-O.J. Simpson L.A., where even a battered man doesn’t stand a chance when a couple is arguing on a street and a third-party witness calls 911. Prosecutors saw an opportunity for a quick series of headlines in the L.A. Times. They never wanted to hear my side of the story; they just funneled me through a preliminary hearing and left it up to me to take it to a trial, not caring about the invaluable witnesses we brought to the courtroom and my $250,000 in legal expenses, plenty of which made its way to a financially ailing city via outrageous court costs. I could have taken the case to trial, but what a circus that would have been. How do I know a jury wouldn’t profile me unfairly, as an opinionated ESPN commentator of Italian heritage, and assume guilt regardless of the truth? I chose to take a no-contest plea bargain for one low-level misdemeanor, which allowed this person to stalk me in attempts to entrap me and cause me more trouble.
I don’t hit women – never have, never will. As the father of two daughters, I abhor domestic abuse. In truth, I was the one abused in the relationship; one night, she punched me 22 times in the chest, right against the stent inserted during my 2007 heart attack. I’ve discussed all of this on two Fox Sports podcasts and in a Sirius/XM interview. I’ve written a book about it. Now it’s time for everyone to move on and realize that men, too, can be victims of domestic abuse.
While much of Murray Chass’ latest blog entry concerns the Miguel Cabrera vs. Mike Trout MVP competition (no surprise that Murray considers Wins Above Replacement an insufficient determining factor), the former New York Times baseball columnist (above) notes that MLB.com considered a Bud Selig V.A. hospital visit, a Taco Bell promotion and a similar plug for the “Ducks On The Pond” trivia game all newsworthy enough to warrant front page coverage. Conversely, the recent DUI arrests of Mark Grace and Carlton Fisk received no mention from Major League Baseball’s house organ. Noting the Selig piece along with the Taco Bell and “Ducks On The Pond” stories were all penned by Mark Newman, Chass sneers, “he is designated as enterprise editor. House man would be more appropriate.”
The articles about Fisk and Grace can be found on many Web sites andin many newspapers (though strangely not The New York Times), but baseball’s Web site, the one that says its articles and columns are “ not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs,” opted not to post either the Grace or Fisk developments.
Baseball apparently doesn’t recognize negative news about its people. It’s like a child thinking if he or she closes his or her eyes, bad things or bad news will go away.
No story, on the other hand, can be too bad to post on the site if it highlights a positive aspect of Major League Baseball or a baseball promotion.