Cosmo’s Hockey Hunk List – An Affront To King Henrik’s Hotness

Posted in Hockey at 9:29 pm by

(in an effort to prevent the North American workforce of either sex from masturbating to yet another photograph of Henrik Lundqvist, instead, here’s a photo of Mike Ricci.  YOU’RE WELCOME, EMPLOYERS).

Though there’s a thin line between hot and freaking hot, who amongst us wasn’t thoroughly outraged at Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist’s staggering omission from Cosmopolitan’s “The Hottest Players In The NHL 2013″. “With the lockout finally over (thank God!), we’re looking forward to seeing some hotness on ice,” writes Cosmo’s Korin Miller, who attempted to rationalize just how she managed to rank the merely attractive Brian Boyle above Lundqvist.  From the NY Post’s Page Six :

Miller explained Cosmo solicited readers to nominate their favorite players, and the magazine named one player from each team to the list. Boyle simply racked up more votes than Lundqvist. “Henrik is hot. In fact, we’ll go so far as to say he’s really freaking hot,” Miller wrote a few days later. “That’s why he made our list last year. But the votes don’t lie: This was just Brian Boyle’s year.

Lloyd : Cavs’ Future On Hold, Pending “The Decision Pt. II”

Posted in Basketball at 4:34 pm by

C Anderson Varejao’s recent quadriceps injury not only cost the Cavs the services of their mostly likely representative at next month’s NBA All-Star Game, it also reduced the chances Cleveland would be major players at the trade deadline.  As the Akron Beacon-Journal’s Jason Lloyd sees it, the Cavs’ big hope for the future looks awfully familiar.

With Varejao now removed from the equation, various front office executives around the league polled this week believe the Cavs’ plan will remain unchanged. They have tried unsuccessfully for three years to rent their cap space to another team willing to give up a first-round pick in an effort to shed an unwanted contract, and that will continue to be the plan for the next month. They have Luke Walton’s $6 million expiring contract and about $10 million in cap space to shop as a few teams around the league begin scrambling to avoid the league’s stiffer cap penalties. The Cavs’ parameters, however, are a little more complex than they were the last couple of years. With the summer of 2014 quickly approaching, the length of a contract the Cavs will absorb is now limited.

Executives and agents around the league are convinced the Cavaliers won’t do anything to jeopardize their ability to sign a free agent to a max contract during the summer of 2014, when LeBron James can again become a free agent. As fans in Northeast Ohio continue to howl and remain divided about the possibility of his return, more and more people around the league believe there is a strong possibility James will indeed return to Cleveland after next season.

The Cavs are well aware of this, too, and won’t take on a bad contract if it compromises their cap space in two years. That means any bad contract they would obtain in a potential trade would have to expire after next season. It doesn’t make a deal impossible, but it dramatically reduces the field — and it decreases the price the Cavs can command since their future obligations would be brief.


Nobody Knows How To Play Out The String Quite Like Dustin Pedroia

Posted in Baseball at 7:36 pm by

Though Boston Assistant GM Mike Hazen was attempting to pay tribute to the ultimate-gutty-gamer that is Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia, if I carefully excerpt his comments and omit the bits where Little Dusty seems like a role model (as opposed to, y’know, a fucking nut), you might get a slightly different impression. Here are Hazen’s comments during the Hot Stove Cool Music roundtable, as quoted by WEEI’s Alex Speier :

“I had the pleasure of being in Baltimore at the end of the season, that last road trip. We’re standing in the dugout, talking, Adam Jones is going to run up during batting practice to field his position. Pedroia just starts screaming at him.

“‘Don’t hit the ball my way tonight. I’m telling you right now, you better plan on pulling that thing because if you hit it my way, you’re out. You are out.’

“Adam Jones is running out to his position, looking around, like, ‘What? That guy’s crazy. What’s wrong with him?’ He didn’t respond.

“I looked at him and said, ‘Hey Pedey – we’ve lost 89 games and these guys are about to go to the playoffs.’ Then he turned on me and started screaming at me. ‘I don’t care how many games we’ve lost! I don’t care – that guy’s out!’

“After that, I said, ‘All right. All right.’ I walked away.

No Need To Look Over Your Shoulder, KG : Steve Novak Is Not Exactly A Trash Talk Grandmaster

Posted in Basketball at 5:01 pm by

Given the New York Knicks have lost 3 in a row — including last night’s 108-101 defeat to Chicago at MSG  —- you’d hope SF Steve Novak would have the presence of mind to ignore journalists when they bait him about something as trivial as a celebration gesture that isn’t even his own creation.  Not as much as you’d hope I wouldn’t have to repeat the story, however.  From the New York Daily News’ Frank Isola :

Steve Novak didn’t appreciate Nate Robinson mocking him and the Knicks by copying Novak’s signature “discount double check” sign after making two shots in the first half.

Novak occasionally makes the sign after hitting a three-pointer. He does it in honor of Aaron Rogers and his hometown Green Bay Packers.

“It warms my heart, it really does,” Novak said of the former Knick. “The best part about doing the belt is hearing the stories of all the little kids around the world that hit a 3-pointer and do the belt. You know, one day when little Nathan grows up, I hope that his dreams come true and he can be just like me .”


Metal Mike’s Ghostwriter : Piazza Autobiography Will Not Include A PED Confession

Posted in Baseball at 8:45 pm by

Despite the gaudiest of offensive stats that compare favorably to any catcher in baseball history, Mike Piazza was denied entry to the Hall Of Fame earlier this week, a circumstance I prefer to blame entirely on his association with Sam Champion Eddie Trunk.  That’s probably not Murray Chass’ take, but I’m slightly less cynical, even to the point where I’m willing to swallow the claims of Piazza’s co-author for the upcoming “Long Shot”, Lonnie Wheeler, who tells Newsday’s Anthony Rieber, “I believe he’s clean.”   Back acne aside, I’ve never heard Piazza’s hygiene questioned.

“Revelations, I guess, are in the eye of the beholder,” said Wheeler, a former sports columnist for the now-defunct Cincinnati Post and co-author of autobiographies of Hall of Famers Hank Aaron and Bob Gibson, among other works.

“I can’t get too specific about the nature of that discussion,” Wheeler said. “But he does tackle the question and discusses the PED scenario in length in three or four different sections of the book.”

Wheeler — an honorary BBWAA member who does not have a Hall vote — said Piazza also discusses the Roger Clemens bat-throwing incident in Game 2 of the 2000 Subway Series and the bizarre episode in which Piazza held a news conference before a Mets game to refute rumors that he is gay.

“The subjects that people want to hear him on, he has spoken on candidly and at length,” Wheeler said.

“An Evening Of Russian Culture” At The Barclays Center : So Much More Than Making Kris Humphries Listen To Pussy Riot

Posted in Basketball, We Aren't The World at 6:52 pm by

(at least we’ve got the Anthem covered)

If a Saturday night visit from Roy Hibbert and Psycho-T wasn’t enough to pack the Bruce Ratner’s lovely new basketball area, there’s this  ; the Brooklyn Nets plan to mark Old Russian New Year’s Eve with “An Evening Of Russian Culture”.   I guess Brett Yormark didn’t care for my suggestion box idea pitching Jason Williams Throwback Jersey Night.  From Crain’s Ali Elkin :

Famed Russian concert violinist Alexander Markov will perform the national anthem before the game and again at halftime. Russian entertainer Oleg Kolomyets is slated to introduce the starting players, and Russian music will also be incorporated throughout the game.

Nets players Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez will appear in a video in which they sample fare from Manhattan restaurant The Russian Samovar.

This will be the team’s second Russian cultural evening and the first since the team started playing in the new arena. They held the first one in 2010, when Mikhail Prokhorov bought the team. Since then, the Nets have maintained a presence in Mr. Prokhorov’s homeland; This year 12 Nets games are scheduled to appear on Russian television.

The event is also meant to reflect Russia as one of Brooklyn’s major cultural influences, said Petra Pope, the team’s senior vice president of event marketing and community relations.

“We love embedding various cultures that speak to the diversity of Brooklyn,” Ms. Pope said. “It’s just our way of recognizing the fact that we’re in a very diverse community and sharing that wealth of information with everyone.”


Crutchmer’s (Measured) Praise For The NYT’s HOF White-Out

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 9:12 pm by

Sports editors across the continent grappled Tuesday night with how to best highlight the BBWAA’s refusal to elect one single candidate from the 2012 Hall Of Fame class of eligible contenders.  The New York Times’ Joe Sexton called his paper’s decision to run with the above, mostly blank front page of the sports section, “striking” and “profound.”  And they saved on ink, too!  The Society For News Design’s Josh Crutchmer, while willing to critique Sexton’s gesture (“ it looks like a production error…that’s a hell of a lot of empty space to spend on Craig Biggio not getting in the Hall of Fame”), offers no shortage of salutations as well.

Make no mistake, the NYT’s Old Gray Lady moniker is as dated as baseball’s Hall of Fame selection process. The paper’s inside pages routinely set and raise the bar in print newspaper design, and the paper’s digital design does the same for visual journalism. See the paper’s series on Derek Boogaard from 2011 for a recent example. This page stops you as a reader. You have to hold that page in your hand, read the cutline and see what it’s all about, and in our postmodern, short-attention-span era, isn’t that what design should do?

One thing we talk about when competitions come around is pushing the limits of the medium. Taking a broadsheet piece of newsprint and telling a story in a way that hasn’t been done before is really difficult. There’s no question this happened here. How many times in a year can you say that about even really good print design, or even the best print design? Moreover, any newspaper, anywhere, even with a resource budget of zero dollars and zero cents, could have designed this page, and a lot of designers woke up today jealous, wondering why it never occurred to them to design a page like this.

Doc Rivers On Honeynut Gate & Danny Ferry’s Snitching

Posted in Basketball at 5:17 pm by

In addition to denying Carmelo Anthony’s Monday night pursuit of Kevin Garnett was provoked by KG making lewd remarks about Anthony’s estranged wife, La La Vazquez, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers told WEEI listeners Thursday that he’s not likely to forgive Hawks GM Danny Ferry’s role in PG Rajon Rondo’s recent suspension. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Chris Viviamore :

“Well, I do (have a problem with it),” Rivers said on his weekly interview. “Guys do that. I rarely do that. I don’t know if I’ve ever done that — I’ve been in the league awhile — where you’re turning other players in and stuff. I don’t know. I don’t like it, but it’s his choice.”

The station then asked Rivers if he was satisfied that Ferry was fined.

“You know, I don’t care,” Rivers said. “I really don’t. It didn’t bother me one way or the other. I just didn’t like it, especially in a game like that. That wasn’t the reason they lost, you know? So to me that is sour grapes, and I don’t like that.”

Ferry declined to comment on Rivers’ interview.

Michel Montecrossa Has Something Or Other To Say (About Many Things)

Posted in Free Expression at 4:04 pm by

For starters, it seems Mr. Motntecrossa has already cost himself any chance of making Still Single’s Top 10 for 2013. On the bright side, the world hasn’t been graced with this sort of timely commentary since Joey Welz’ song about the Japan tsunami (video link courtesy Max Dropout)


Repairing Shaq’s Legacy Outside Of Hoops, One Medium At A Time

Posted in Basketball, Video Games at 9:01 pm by

Though we’ve yet to hear of 4 Men With Beards reissuing Shaquille O’Neal’s poorly regarded hip hop recordings, nor has the Criterion Collection announced a blu-ray disc of “Steel”, video game publishers Hiptic Games have unveiled a sequel to Shaq’s 1994 fighting title, “Shaq Fu” (above).   The scoop on “Shaq Down” comes via Yahoo Games’ Chris Morris (link swiped from Ball Don’t Lie’s Dan Devine) :

“When we were working on the game, we codenamed it Shaq Fu 2,” Long Vo, cofounder and creative director of developer Hiptic, tells VentureBeat. “This game is set in a postapocalyptic world where Shaq has become a legend, and it’s up to him to save humanity from mutant zombies.”

That’s right. The Big Survivor.

As you might have guessed, O’Neal has a sense of humor about his gaming legacy, having told the developers to “have fun with it.” And it looks like they did. In addition to bringing the pain to legions of undead jerks, Shaq will team up with a variety of allies, including three-time world wrestling champ Lee Kemp.

SERVER OVERLOAD ALERT (or, A Blatant Attempt To Start An Internet Feud WIth Dennis DeYoung)

Posted in Internal Affairs, non-sporting journalism at 6:25 pm by

Several years ago, I opined to a bar full of strangers who weren’t listening that I thought Styx’s Dennis DeYoung was a horrible human being. I had no evidence of this, just a rather strong dislike for Styx and DeYoung’s solo works over the years, but given that no one was paying attention, I feel the inexplicable need to say it again. Repeatedly. Dennis DeYoung is a horrible human being.  Horrible. Human.  Being.

In the time since, I’ve yet to be confronted — online or in person — by Mr. DeYoung, thus costing this blog untold amounts of web traffic and any hope I might have of someday appearing on one of those VH-1 “We Love The Early 1990′s” programs. So consider the following me laying down the fucking gauntlet. I know you’re reading this, Dennis. Either you or one of your sycophantic minions paid to scour the internet all day looking for any reference to your past glories. And I want you to know that I AM NOT AFRAID OF YOU or the incredible influence you wield in the entertainment industry.

If you wanna have it out with me, no problem. We’ll meet at the tavern of my choosing, surrounded by several of my friends, none of whom will say boo to your face when and if you show up. After I stammer a vague apology for having “possibly offended you” and you return to your grotesque rock star lifestyle (I’ll bet you own your own car!), I’ll be posting my version of events on this blog some days later, at which time I’ll describe your appearance in unglowing terms (while failing, magically, to provide photographic evidence of my own male modeling credentials).

When you inevitably object to these random, gratuitous attacks — dig this — I’ll be sure to characterize you as some kind of raging egomaniac. “Shouldn’t Dennis DeYoung of Styx have more on his plate than a Twitter pissing match with some obscure blogger?” “Isn’t it time Dennis DeYoung got over himself?” “When will Dennis DeYoung stop trying to resurrect his career at my expense?”

Anyhow, I’ve put a down payment on a yacht in anticipation of what the resulting furor will mean to CSTB’s bottom line. I look forward to hearing from you, Dennis…IF YOU’VE GOT THE GUTS.

P.S., fuck Ted McClelland.


Rob Ryan Won’t Let This Little Speed Bump Mess With His Self-Confidence

Posted in Gridiron at 9:09 pm by

Dallas fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan earlier today, with Rex’s bearded brother taking the hit for the Cowboys’ disappointing 8-8 campaign. Though Ryan initially told the Dallas Morning News’ David Moore, “I have no sour grapes” (“I enjoyed my time here. I have no hard feelings”), he apparently adjusted his tone later in the evening when speaking to ESPN Dallas’ Tim MacMahon :

“I’ll be out of work for like five minutes,” Ryan said.

When we weren’t short-handed, we were kicking ass,” Ryan said. “We weren’t at full strength ever, but we were pretty damn close and pretty damn good. We were a long way from 31st. If I’m fired on the last six games, that’s OK.

“I did a good job. I know it. If anybody thinks I didn’t, they’re full of (expletive).”

The Mets’ Disinterest In Michael Bourn : Slightly More Complicated Than “We’re Broke”

Posted in Baseball at 2:57 pm by

Free agent OF Michael Bourn could end up in a Rangers uniform, regardless of the Mets’ glaring need for a qualified center fielder, let alone one with a recent NL East pedigree.  The Star-Ledger’s voice of reason aka Andy McCullough,  points out there’s almost no chance of the Mets pursuing Bourn, his analysis vetted by none other than Sandy Alderson (“we don’t want to lose our first-round draft pick,”)

The Mets were never considered to be all that interested in Bourn. To start, they don’t want to spend much. Bourn himself isn’t all that appealing as a long-term solution. He turned 30 last month. His game is predicated on his legs. As he ages, his speed is expected to decline. He’s a below-average hitter (his .320 wOBA ranks 20th among qualified center fielders since 2010). And he won’t come cheap. His agent is Scott Boras.

And that doesn’t even hit on the biggest reason why the Mets are wary of signing him. Because Bourn declined Atlanta’s $13.3 million qualifying offer earlier this offseason, the Braves will receive draft pick compensation. A few days ago, Derrick Goold from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explained how this phenomenon is hampering starter Kyle Lohse.

For the Mets, signing Bourn would mean forfeiting the No. 11 pick and the money allotted to them ($2.625 million in 2012). The Mets can’t just spend that money on later picks. That money disappears from their pool.

If You Happen To Find Yourself In The Alleged Live Music Capital Of The World This Mid-March (2013 Edition)…

Posted in Austin, Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll, Tourism at 12:20 pm by

Once upon a time, this blog was actually updated more than once every 12 hours.  Traffic rivaled that of Dino Costa’s Tumblr. Advertising revenues were routinely cracking triple figures each month, and there was even an abortive discussion with a rep from Entercom about all the profitable ways CSTB could be neutered.  Heady times to be sure, but rather than bask in cheap nostalgia, I’m instead going to drag this motherfucker into it’s 2ND DECADE OF AWESOMENESS with our 5th annual not-at-all-affiilated with SXSW free event.  Past participants have included such rock legends as Endless Boogie, The Muffs, Puffy Areolas, the Homosexuals, Wiccans, Wounded Lion, Dikes Of Holland and many others who used the occasion as a launching pad to semi-obscurity random mentions on blogs with even worse traffic than this one.

At the risk of, well, telling the truth, this year’s lineup is not only the strongest to date, it might be the greatest collection of talent ever assembled under one roof.  Think of it like a reverse version of Laurie Gallardo’s Good Music Club.   In addition to return performances from past CSTB “don’t provoke the SXSW legal dept.”show vets TV Ghost, Unholy Two and Obnox, we’ll be hosting the Texas debut of Detroit’s Protomartyr.

Spray Paint (Austin)
Protomartyr (Detroit)
TV Ghost (Lafayette, IN)
The Blind Shake (Minneapolis)
Unholy Two (Columbus)
Golden Pelicans (Orlando)
Obnox (Cleveland)

As always, there’s no cover charge, RSVP or rock biz credentials required for admission.  Just bring your shitty attitude and be prepared to spend several hours complaining about the huge clusterfuck on Red River that you willingly attended (again).


Not Wanting To Be The New Jay Cutler – A Poor Excuse For Griffin, Shanahan

Posted in Gridiron at 9:13 pm by

There’s been no shortage of outrage expressed in the past 24 hours over Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan’s decision to allow the obviously disabled Robert Griffin to remain in yesterday’s Wild Card playoff loss to Seattle until deep into the 4th quarter, though the New York Post’s Anthony Sulla-Heffinger thinks he’s found a motive for RGIII’s stubbornness.  Y’see, had Griffin taken an seat earlier, “his toughness and position as leader of the team would’ve come into question much like it did two years ago with Jay Cutler.”

The Bears’ quarterback, who led the team to a 12-4 record and the NFC Championship game, missed the majority of the second half in Chicago’s 21-14 loss to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Packers after suffering what would turn out to be a sprained MCL.

“Cmon cutler u have to come back,” Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes wrote on Twitter in Jan. 2011. “This is the NFC championship if u didn’t know!”

“If I’m on chicago team jay cutler has to wait till me and the team shower get dressed and leave before he comes in the locker room! #FACT,” Arizona defensive lineman Darnell Dockett also wrote.

All I’m saying is that he can finish the game on a hurt knee … I played the whole season on one …” Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew tweeted at the time.

Would we have seen the same thing in Washington if RGIII would have pulled himself yesterday? It’s unclear, but the entire football world is watching the playoffs, including the players.

Thankfully, we’ve yet to hear Mike Shanahan suggest he was doing everything possible to avoid embarrassing Griffin on Twitter.  But since Sulla-Heffinger raised the spectre of Cutler, let’s compare and contrast the situations.  Rob Parker excepted, Griffin is wildly popular.  On the other hand, Cutler’s alleged propensity for sulking has won him the disrespect of fans, teammates and media alike.  Sunday afternoon, Griffin’s difficulties planting his feet, throwing the football, moving around in the pocket were impossible to ignore. While the full extent of Cutler’s injury 2 years ago was hard to discern at the time of his removal, he also hadn’t entered the NFL Championship with one noted health care profession “scared to death” for his welfare.

Had Griffin pronounced himself unable to continue at halftime last night, it’s pretty unlikely he’d have suffered nearly the same scorn as Cutler if for no other reason than he’s not universally despised.

Remembering Saban’s Least Graceful Moment

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 4:01 pm by

Nick Saban will attempt to win a 4th national championship and 3rd as Alabama head coach when the Crimson Tide collides with Notre Dame tonight in Miami, a momentous occasion that causes the New York Times’ Greg Bishop to bring up the collapse of Miami OL Jeno James during the Nicktator’s brief tenure with the Dolphins.  During Saban’s inaugural training camp, writes Bishop, “he told his new team, so many millionaires, to ‘just shut up’m a sentence he punctuated with an expletive. On other occasions, he made more than one player cry.”  And then there’s Saban’s reaction to James’ health scare, as chronicled in this space in December of 2007  (“Heath Evans Humbly Suggests That Nick Saban Is An Intensely Creepy Human Being”) ;

790 The Ticket’s Jorge Sedano derives no small amount of pleasure from tweaking former Dolphins / current Alabama head coach Nick Saban (above), so you might say a Tuesday chat with Miami FB Heath Evans was sort of like an early Christmas for the sports yack host. Sedano asked Evans if there was “an example of something he (Saban) did to someone while you were there that made you shake your head, you’re like, ‘That stuff doesn’t work here’”. Evans proceeded to describe an incident that occurred during the latter half of two-a-day practices to start 2005′s Dolphins training camp (transcript swiped from Black Sports Online)

Jeno James, our best offensive lineman at the time, comes in and collapses after practice, uh, vomiting all kinds of stuff that would make a billygoat puke, eyes rolled in the back of his head. Myself, about four other lineman are trying to carry him from the locker room, to the training room.

Obviously it’s a moment of panic, everyone, you know, we don’t know if this guy’s, you know, gonna die, I mean, the whole deal. But he’s so big and sweaty and heavy that we actually have to set him down in the hallway between the locker room and the training room.

Nick Saban literally just starts walking in, steps over Jeno James convulsing, doesn’t say a word, doesn’t try to help, goes upstairs, I don’t know what he does. But then obviously they get Jeno trauma-offed to the hospital.

Saban calls a team meeting about 10:30 that night, comes down and says, ‘You know, the captain of the ship can never show fear or indecision, we’ve always gotta have an answer, and so I had to go upstairs, that’s why I walked over Geno like that, I had to collect my thoughts and decide what’s best for our team.’

Rob Parker – Ready To Take The Heat Off Mike Shanahan

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 1:01 pm by

“I mean, looking back at some of the comments, I can see how some people can take it out of context and run with it, but the response, and what happened over the past 30 days and everything was just shocking,”

OK, in fairness, the clip from  a Detroit TV news program featuring ESPN’s Rob Parker was posted two days before Mike Shanahan decided that Robert Griffin was better on one leg than Kirk Cousins on two. But suffice to say Parker and Shanahan have proven equally adept of late when it comes to decision making.


Not Since Joey Greco Have Cheaters Faced A Foe As Formidable As Goose Gossage

Posted in Baseball at 9:49 pm by

If you thought Rich Gossage’s gripes with the Baseball Hall of Fame selection process were exhausted upon the reliever’s enshrinement in 2008, think again. Mindful that he cannot possibly deny sports journalists his semi-annual tirades against subsequent generations of players, Gossage tells the Denver Post’s Troy E. Renck, “If they elect known cheaters into the Hall of Fame, I am not sure I would go back. It hurts me to even think about it.” (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory)

“Cheaters should absolutely not be in the Hall of Fame. You are telling me we are going to reward these guys? Are you (expletive) kidding me? What is going on in this world? Right is right. Wrong is wrong.”

“If they get in, what does that tell our kids and everybody else? What message does that send?” said Gossage, the only native Coloradan in the Hall of Fame after receiving 85.8 percent of the vote following his career that included 310 saves. “They say there wouldn’t be a Hall of Fame without PEDs? I completely disagree. No cheaters. Period.”

“I try not to live in a glass house,” Gossage said. “Who’s to say if I was injured and HGH was available to me that I wouldn’t have taken it. But I didn’t. If I had, I would like to believe I would fess up and suffer the consequences, meaning no Hall of Fame.”

Fat Elvis To Rangers Fans : I Like Our Chances (Now That There’s No One Else Overpaying Me)

Posted in Baseball at 7:01 pm by

Lance Berkman delayed retirement with a one-year, $11 million deal with Texas this week, a deal that at least one observer thought exorbitant given Berkman’s inability to stay on the field in 2012. Fully aware some Rangers fans would remember his characterizing the 2011 club as a probable non-contender, a contrite Berkman spoke with ESPN Dallas’ Richard Durrett in an attempt to smooth things over.

“I’m prepared to let bygones be bygones, but I understand the fans remembering those comments,” Berkman said. “Ultimately, I had to eat some crow and I was happy to do that. I tend to share an unvarnished opinion and not everyone was going to like that answer. It was my honest opinion and I was proved to be incorrect in my assessment, and it was not the first time I’ve been wrong.

“This is a different team and a different scenario and I’m happy to be a part of the Rangers organization. It’s a winning team. Hopefully by playing well, I’ll be able to win over some of those fans I ostracized by shooting my mouth off before.”

He said several factors made Texas the right choice for him.

“The first reason is because they have a very good team, a competitive time and a chance to win,” Berkman said. “The second is the geographic location. I think it’s easy on my family being in Houston to get back and forth to Dallas. Being a native Texan, it’s nice to be back in the state.”

“The third reason is they made me a great offer,”, Berkman added, one that will have him ensconced at DH in Ron Washington’s lineup, and should offer massive encouragement to any remaining free agents with a shred of mobility.

ATTN LOCAL TALENT : Crummy Band Names 4 The Taking

Posted in Austin, Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 5:03 pm by

As a resident of the World’s alleged Live Music Capital, I’m painfully aware there’s no shortage of aspiring musicians, many of ‘em struggling to select a decent name for their new ensembles.  And they’ll just have to keep on struggling, as I’ve made a shortlist of the worst new bands names I can come up with off the top of my head.  By all means, feel free to use ANY OF THESE.  You don’t need to give me credit or pay me or anything.  Better if we never talk about it. But just think how good a few of these will look on a kick drum, marquee or court order an American Apparel tee.

Vince Young Steakhouse
the Cocksmen
Hamburger & The Helpers
Naughty Thoughts
Black Owl Society
Sucko & Vanzetti
David Komie, Attorney At Law
Our Little Secret
Hat Hair
Canadian Blacula
Menendez & Sons
Creedence Clearwater Reprisal


Kevin-Prince Boateng & The Shifting Social Conscience Of Silvio Berlusconi

Posted in Football, Racism Corner at 9:36 pm by

Earlier this week, AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng walked out of a friendly at Pro Patria rather than endure racial abuse, a move hailed by team president Silvio Berlusconi (“these uncivilised episodes, these insulting chants take place too frequently and they offend football and all sport,”). The Observer’s Dave Hill, mindful of Berlusconi’s past, cannot help but compare and contrast the reaction to Boateng’s protest with the former Italian Prime Minister’s prior statements.

Man Of The Week : Silvio Berlusconi, backing his Milan squad’s angry response at Pro Patria to “those disgraceful, heinous racist jeers, which we hear too often” – a year and a half after his last big stand on race issues. Berlusconi told Milan voters in 2011 to back his candidate for mayor or face living in an “overrun Islamic Gypsy town, besieged by foreigners”.

• Endorsing Silvio’s 2011 message: his then-coalition partner Umberto Bossi, who made his name eight years earlier with a signature policy on immigration control. Bossi told the press that his plan to have Italy’s navy shoot at boat-loads of African immigrants was the only sure way to “chase off” the “bingo-bongos”.

The Redskins’ Unsung Hero – Rex Grossman

Posted in Gridiron at 8:14 pm by

While the Washington Post’s Mark Maske credits Daniel Snyder’s uncharacteristic lack of meddling for the Redskins’ recent success, WaPo colleague Mike Jones hails former starting QB-turned-scout-team-coach Rex Grossman for his mentorship of rookie QB’s Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins.

Determined not to become a destructive force, Grossman has tried to find whatever way possible to contribute to the Redskins’ turnaround. The role bestowed upon him this season goes unnoticed by outsiders, but it carries great importance to the Redskins’ players and coaches.

“He’s been an invaluable help and probably as big a reason as the coaches’ work for why Robert has had the success he has,” said Cousins, who added that Grossman deserves credit for having aided Cousins’s successful relief performance for the injured Griffin against Baltimore and for his successful start the following week at Cleveland.

Said Grossman: “I got the message pretty early: ‘You’re to be there to help the young quarterbacks get better.’ I knew that going in. It’s been a pretty easy transition into that, minus my competitive spirit wanting to play. .?.?. I’ve found myself enjoying it a little bit, and enjoying the process of helping. I want to contribute, so that takes the place of that.”

Grossman has confidence that he can still start for an NFL team.

“There’s no doubt,” he said. “I feel like I’m better now than I was when I did start every game. The only time I did start every game, we were 15-4 and made it to the Super Bowl, and I feel like I’m a better quarterback than I was then.”


Bob Raissman Can Hardly Contain His Excitement Over Another Chance To Ridicule Rex Ryan

Posted in Gridiron at 8:44 pm by

Jets head coach Rex Ryan’s decision to skip a postseason chat with the local media seems to have backfired in spectacular fashion ; had Ryan actually faced the music earlier this week, chances are he’d worn long-sleeves, thus avoiding questions about what appears to a tattoo paying homage to the most important person in his life (and his wife, Michelle, too!). Said press conference was delayed a week, of whcih the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman says of Ryan and team owner Woody Johnson, “while the pair violated NFL policy, they stand on solid ground when it comes to show business rules of engagement.”

They have created an aura of mystery. There is anticipation in the air. As the clock winds down and Tuesday, their press conference day of reckoning, approaches, this thing will become so big it best be held on Broadway (Woody could sell tickets) rather than at “the team facility in Florham Park,” a much too antiseptic venue for a theatrical production.

Next week’s spectacle will do absolutely nothing to repair Ryan’s fractured image. There are questions for Johnson to answer, too, but he is a bit player in this show. He is actually like the curtain. He is here to stay. Johnson ain’t riding his little scooter out of town.

Ryan is the story. His persona has fallen off a cliff. Incredibly, he has gone from wisecracking windbag to fumfering nebbish, one with no answers. You don’t want to walk into the biggest press conference of your life playing the role of Flounder in “Animal House,” but this is where Ryan is. Remember, the Jets are more soap opera than football team, opening up the possibility of this becoming a crossover affair attracting the “Entertainment Tonight” crowd.

The Hashtag #yeswecanseco Will Probably Never Reach Full Potential

Posted in Baseball, politics, We Aren't The World at 4:24 pm by

When Jose Canseco’s New Year’s Resolutions (via Twitter, naturally) included, “Get elected to a important political office in the U.S. or canada to help all people and governments with there problems,” at least one of the former Bash Brother’s followers called Jose’s bluff.  And were it not for the small matter of Canadian citizenship, we might be seeing the “Juiced” author challenge Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in the city’s byelection, as the Star’s David Dale explains :

Robb Derkatz, a political consultant and chair of the United Way in Milton, suggested that Canseco run for Toronto council. Canseco responded: “Can’t do enough on council. I hear you are getting rid of mayor Ford on Monday. I love Toronto and will be glad to replace him.”

Said Derkatz: “A run against Ford in the byelection? No party affiliation. All u have to do is register. Crazy enough to work.”

Canseco responded: “Let’s do it. Canada believed in me and I owe them a lot. Can you help me register and be my campaign manager?

He offered a preview of his platform-to-be in a tweet to the Star at 1:17 a.m. “Ford too much trouble to be effective,” he wrote. “Gotta fix budget, traffic, get new $ not from taxes, get more new businesses, and help schools.”

Asked why he would be more effective than Ford given his own extensive baggage — the steroids, convictions for assault, a .266 career batting average — Canseco responded: “u need someone from outside the system to fix things otherwise you get the same ideas that dont work over and over from same people”


Chass : Computer Nerds Cannot Measure Jack Morris’ Intestines

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 8:43 pm by

Apologies to the former NY Times baseball columnist turned blogger Murray Chass if the above headline doesn’t do full justice to his rationale for voting in favor of Jack Morris‘ election to the Hall Of Fame, though Murray does promise that if Morris makes it this time or next January in his final year of eligibility, the former will relinquish his ballot.

You might ask and reasonably so, if I plan to stop voting, why did I vote this year? I voted in the hope that my vote would contribute to Morris’ election. I didn’t vote for anyone else because anyone I might have considered was a known or suspected cheater, and I didn’t want to aid and abet a cheater.

I think I am safe in concluding that Morris did not cheat. I know the stats zealots don’t think Morris is a Hall of Famer because his rankings in their new-fangled ratings fall below their standards. But they don‘t have a formula for intestinal fortitude or determination.

Morris willed the Minnesota Twins to win Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, refusing to leave as long as the game was scoreless. The stats zealots are tired of hearing about that game, but it is symbolic of the fatal flaw in their way of viewing players. Numbers simply don’t tell the whole story.

Morris could be hurt or helped by how writers vote on the cheaters. If they go big for the big names, they will very likely not include Morris. If they choose to reject the cheaters, Morris figures to benefit. If Morris isn’t elected this time, he could face a problem next year because Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine will be on the ballot for the first time.