The Mets’ Handling Of Zack Wheeler – Prudent, Cheap, Or Both?

Posted in Basketball at 10:22 pm by

Hardly a shining example of starting pitching depth, are the financially-hamstrung New York Mets overly focused on delaying Zack Wheeler’s eligibility for free agency?  While Newsday’s David Lennon would like to give the Amazins the benefit of the doubt regarding the RHP (“Sandy Alderson has a staff to help him make that call, and given how important Wheeler is to the Mets’ future, it makes no sense to gamble with him as long as a call-up is not in his best interests”), he’s also quick to stress, “if a pitcher of his caliber can be a difference-maker now and help the Mets win immediately and give the impression that Sandy Alderson is not mailing it in this season, there is a compelling argument to start him in Flushing.”  Particularly with Johan Santana lost for the season and the newly acquired Shawn Marcum questionable for his 2nd turn in the rotation.

The part of the conversation where the lines get blurry is the matter of service time and preserving an extra year of Wheeler’s free agency. The financial benefit to that is obvious. Keeping control of a player is crucial to building a winning organization, and for the Mets, a team with its share of recent money problems, that’s doubly true.

Even so, deliberately leaving a player in Triple-A, if only for a month or two, just for the sole purpose of delaying his free agency or eligibility for arbitration is not a smart practice.

But for any team to purposely hurt its chances to win right away — from the first week of the regular season — because of what it might cost them a few seasons later sends a mixed message to everyone, including the fans supposedly paying to watch what they believe is the most competitive product that can be put on the field.

Lennon’s careful to work both sides of the issue, and while I’d usually support any assertion the Mets are duplicitous towards the paying customer, I’m not sure anyone over the age of seven actually believes Alderson’s primary goal this season is winning baseball games. Lennon alludes to Dwight Gooden, but even in the wildest best-case scenario, Wheeler’s not joining a team with Darryl Strawberry and Keith Hernandez (sorry, David Wright).  Alderson and his bosses are ultimately don’t give a shit about the difference between 65 and 75 wins this season, and perhaps they shouldn’t.

The Incomparable Joey Welz – Showing Franco Harris & John Ziegler That When It Comes To Joe Paterno Apologists, They’re Fighting For 2nd Place

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 7:31 pm by

Not for the first time, producer/composer/artist and label magnate Joseph “Joey” Welz leaves us with the impression that he’s not quite ready to morph into a modern day Mark Russell.


Our Most Contentious Guest Contributor Proves Yet Again, YOU CAN’T STOP CONSUMER ADVOCACY

Posted in Baseball, consumer affairs, Fitness, New York, New York at 10:13 pm by

The once and future Scourge Of Yelp is BACK.

Seahawks DE Chris Clemons – Putting Hypothetical Team Morale Ahead Of Human Rights

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Journalism at 6:39 pm by

(above : Clemons, clearly not a fan of attracting attention to one’s self)

Inspired by CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman‘s claims that “ a current gay NFL player is strongly considering coming out publicly within the next few months”, Seattle’s Chris Clemons took to Twitter to opine, “I just think something’s should be left at home”, followed by “I think it’s a selfish act…they just trying to make themselves bigger than the team.”) While there’s no “I” in “team”, “team” remains an anagram for “meat”…and there’s no shortage of meatheads who will continue to argue that taking issue with Clemons’ intolerance is in itself, an act of intolerance.  One meathead in particular, took to the airwaves of Sirius/XM’s Mad Dog Radio earlier this week to channel John Smoltz in comparing support for what he calls “the homosexual agenda” to condoning “dog fucking”.

If Clemons seriously believes that merely being the person you’re born as (a right afforded to every heterosexual in professional sports, if not every other walk of life) is tantamount to a form of egomania, he’s certainly entitled to his screwy opinion, but there’s something unsettling about the notion the quest to earn a ring for Pete Carroll should take a backseat to social progress.  While far from endorsing Clemons’ POV, The Seattle Times’ Danny O’Neil asks, “what if ‘the selfish act’ is coming out as gay in a very public, very political way while on an NFL roster…what defines being gay in a political way? Is it holding a press conference or is it holding hands in public?” Mike Piazza, unavailable for comment.

If a member of a team felt that having someone openly gay as a teammate put the topic of gay rights ahead of the team’s interest, would he be wrong? Not wrong in a moral sense, mind you, but incorrect because the reality is that the first openly gay athlete in an American male team sport is going to become a lightning rod not only for himself but for his teammates. Do the other men in the locker room oppose him, tolerate him or support him? There will be no neutral. There will be no shortage of questions.

But that reality underscores the difficulty facing a gay athlete, not the gay athlete’s teammate.

The first openly gay, active NFL player is not political by choice. Rather, his sexual preference and expressions of affection will be unavoidably political because he is openly gay. Clemons’ Tweets actually recognize this fact. He did not object to any issues of sexual orientation so much as the attention it is accorded. The reality of an openly gay player would become a singularly overwhelming issue for that team.

But whose fault is that? Is it the gay athlete for revealing his sexual orientation or is it society in general and the industry in particular that makes it such an overwhelming issue?

Rest Assured, Future UCLA Recruits, Steve Alford Will Have Your Back

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts at 1:59 pm by

UCLA named Steve Alford their new head coach this morning, replacing the recently fired Ben Howland. Presumably, the former’s record at New Mexico made him an attractive enough Plan C after Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens rejected the Bruins’ overtures.  Alford’s success at The Pit will obviously receive scrutiny over the coming days and weeks, but perhaps his tenure in Iowa City is worthy of consideration?

In 2002 while head coach at Iowa, Alford staunchly defended Pierre Pierce after the Hawkeye SG was accused of sexual assault.  In 2003, The Chicago Tribune’s Melissa Isaacson suggested Alford’s testimonials on Pierce’s behalf, “frequently resembled a grass-roots campaign to elect his sophomore guard as class president.”  Keep in mind, this was a full two years before Pierce would be charged with a subsequent sexual assault that led to his eventual dismissal from the Iowa program (and inclusion on the state’s Sex Offender registry).

Alford took advantage of every available opportunity to praise the character and pronounce the innocence of his player. Despite the fact he is a university employee and, as such, has an equal responsibility to support the victim, Alford also used the occasion of a violent crime to espouse every cliched virtue of team sports known to man.

You know the ones–overcoming adversity, us-against-the-world, blah, blah, yech. In an interview with WSCR-AM 670 last week, Alford, when he wasn’t pulling out the “That’s old news” routine, lumped his player’s admitted sexual assault into “our share of distractions” and made both Pierce and the victim sound like equally injured parties in their attempt to “move on.”

Sources close to the victim say that hearing Alford go out of his way to defend the moral fiber of Pierce these past few months, and turning it into another one of his all-for-one sermons was, in fact, the most painful aspect of trying to move on.

But hey, what better way to show potential recruits and their parents how fiercely loyal and supportive you are to your players?


Thanking You For Not Mentioning Tanking — Should Doug Collins Control The Sixers’ Draft Fate?

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down at 7:30 pm by

While there’s no guarantee Doug Collins will be in Philadelphia next autumn, for the time being, the Sixers’ head coach bristles at any suggestion his team would be better off phoning it in the rest of the way and improving their draft status.  Mindful of the way in which Boston turned a number 5 overall pick into Ray Allen in 2007 — in a crucial prelude to their subsequent acquisition of Kevin Garnett, Hoop76′s Eric Goldwein respectfully proposes that perhaps the buck oughta stop somewhere else besides Collins.

Collins is 61 years old and in the penultimate year of his contract. For the coach, the return on these meaningless regular season victories may actually exceed the value of additional ping pong balls. (Rumor has it, Team USA evaluates assistant coaching candidates by looking at their regular season records.) Rational or not, Collins is focused on the now.

It’s understandable – if not necessarily defensible – that Collins would blanch at the notion of coaching to lose. He’s a deeply competitive man. But the real problem with the Sixers isn’t the coach’s philosophical opposition to tanking. It’s that there’s nobody questioning the coach’s philosophical opposition to tanking. Not team president Rod Thorn. Not general manager Tony DiLeo. Not CEO Adam Aron. In the Sixers organization, Collins is Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge. He is both coach and executive director of basketball operations. Not by name, but it’s widely believed that Collins has the final say on personnel decisions. He has the final say on the tanking decision, too. Perhaps it’s time to take that away.

Donovan McNabb – Reluctant To Congratulate Tony Romo On His Good Fortune

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Radio, twitter twatter at 6:45 pm by

There’s no denying that Cowboys QB Tony Romo is very lucky to have been negotiating an extension during the same off-season Joe Flacco and Aaron Rodgers’ respective teams were working on new pacts. And it would be somewhat hysterical to claim that McNabb’s own history of postseason underachievement should preclude him from having an opinion.  Though given the 140 character limit of Twitter, McNabb failed to mention that Romo’s sole career playoff victory came against a team quarterbacked by….Donovan McNabb.

Joel Sherman Is Pretty Sure He Knows The Exact Moment Johan Santana’s Mets Career Came To An End…

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 7:10 am by

…and to hear the New York Post baseball scribe tell the tale, the incident had little to do with Santana’s no-hitter against St. Louis last June. Following Thursday’s grim announcement the Mets’ formerly talismanic starter had suffered a re-tear of his left anterior shoulder capsule, Joel Shermanmindful of Santana’s squabbles with his employers earlier this Spring — suggests a March 3 game of catch with Pedro Feliciano was the straw that, well, snapped Johan’s shoulder.

Santana played long toss with Pedro Feliciano. In this game, Santana stood on the left field foul line and Feliciano slowly backed up. It was 45 feet, then 60, then 90, until he was 180 feet away. Then he slowly reeled back in to 120, 90 and then maybe 15 or 20 for a short lob back and forth.

However, for his last throw, Santana did not lob the short distance to Feliciano. Instead, he wound up and fired a ball off the orange homer demarcation above the wall just to the left of the 410 sign in center. The throw had to be at least 225-250 feet and it was done in fury, like a child acting out.

I thought it was bizarre. I included it in my column the next day. But I didn’t think much more of it because Santana then went and threw that 15-pitch pen. I figured if he had hurt himself, then why go to the mound.

But now in retrospect, I wonder. I wonder if an organization behaving badly — by calling Santana out — and Santana acting badly — by throwing a temper-tantrum and a ball 250 feet in anger — is why this sad news about the lefty’s career came yesterday.

While Faith & Fear In Flushing’s Greg Prince is quick to credit Santana for his heroics-when-healthy (“Johan carried us when he could, which became an increasingly infrequent circumstance until it reached a point where his carrying a baseball and firing it to a catcher posed a clear and present danger to himself”), he also finds this all too typical of the franchise.

You become a Mets fan, you learn about all kinds of anatomy you hadn’t heard of before. You join the Mets, something’s bound to go wrong with parts of you that seemed just fine in Minnesota or wherever. You subject yourself to repair, you rehabilitate as hard as you can, you make your way back and eventually something else doesn’t work to factory specifications. The people who pay you — and pay you very well — estimate you’ll return again any day or week or month now…or perhaps your career is over.

The Mets can never get their story straight when that happens. “You’ll see him when you see him” would be as good a status report as any to issue. “We don’t know — do we look like we know?” would be reasonably accurate, too. And if you’re contemplating the time frame the Mets suggest regarding any given player’s availability after injury, just multiply it by infinity so it will be a nice surprise should he return at all.

Rob Dibble’s Hopes Of Becoming The Baseball Version Of Ken Reeves Suffer A Serious Blow

Posted in Baseball, Leave No Child Unbeaten, Lower Education at 6:40 am by

I’m not quite sure how I missed the following news item on Wednesday — you take one little break from googling Rob Dibble’s name 20 times a day, and this is what happens.  I’ll make no further excuses for my own negligence, but I do have to wonder what kind of school administrator would hire a baseball coach whose most recent brush with fame included calling Stephen Strasburgh a pussy for not pitching thru pain.  From the LA Times’ Eric Sondheimer :

Former major leaguer Rob Dibble, in his first season as coach at Calabasas, said in a text he has been removed as coach. He was ejected from Tuesday’s 8-1 loss to Agoura in the sixth inning.

“They said I wasn’t a good fit,” Dibble said in a text message Tuesday night. “I just got a job calling Angels Games for Compass Media. In giving some early notice I couldn’t continue as head coach after the season I was asked to step down immediately. I’m shocked, very sad and will miss the kids because the only reason I took the job was to help them play at the next level.”


Doug Gottlieb Is Certainly White ; We’ll Have To Take His Word About Being A Man

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts, Racism Corner, Sports TV at 11:30 pm by

Congrats to CBS college hoops analyst Doug Gottlieb, who earlier tonight unwittingly provided fodder for a future Phil Mushnick column with the above comment. We can now look forward to Phil opining that those calling for Gottlieb’s skull have given Charles Barkley a pass for remarks 50,000 times more offensive.

The Billy Bean That Wasn’t Friends With Johnny Ramone Recalls His MLB Career

Posted in Baseball at 5:53 pm by

Former Padres OF/1B Billy Bean — not to be confused with former Mets prospect / punk fan turned GM Billy Beane of Oakland — is the special guest of honor for San Diego LGBT Pride’s “Out At The Park” Night at Petco, May 19. Bean, author of “Going The Other Way : Lessons From A Life In and Out Of Major League Baseball”, was quizzed by LGBT Weekly’s Joel Trambley (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

Can you talk about the day of your first home run?

I was at home … [a couple of guys on the team] wanted me to go out and have a few beers and celebrate. I lived in a place in Del Mar and my garage was on the basement level. When someone knocked on the door, I told my partner Sam, “You gotta go downstairs and get in the car,” and he sat in the garage for a couple of hours by himself. It was a stinging reminder of the way I looked at my own life, either lying or hiding something.

The story for me is that the happiest moment of my professional career turned into one of the worst days of my life, and in minutes. Unfortunately, I was posed a decision, and the one I made wasn’t kind. My partner understood, but I hurt his feelings and hurt my own feelings at the same time.
In a perfect world, or my world now, my partner and I would be sitting there, and if someone knocked on the door, we would have them come in. It would have been a great moment.

Was there backlash from players when you came out?
No, none at all, but that’s not really a fair assessment of what it would be like for a player who is still playing and walking out on the field.
I had been out of baseball for a couple of years, and I was kind of a good old guy when I played, and I was happy with the response of players. Definitely there were a few religious, like right wing, born again Christian kind of athletes who said they would not have been comfortable with me on the team; not because of me, but because I’m gay. They seemed to be in that mindset that if [someone is] gay, [they are] going to want to be with you just because you are the same sex. Dealing with that kind of antiquated mindset … there is nothing that any of us can do to change those people except live our lives the way we do. That part didn’t bother me.

The guys who said they wouldn’t have been comfortable with me … I had never played on the same team as any of those guys, so it was really kind of a theoretical question about a gay teammate, not Billy Bean as your teammate.


Miami Mayor : Loria’s Added “Rapist” To His Resume

Posted in Baseball, politics, Sports Journalism, Ugly New Stadiums at 9:04 pm by

S.L. Price’s profile of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and chief weasel David Samson in the latest issue Sports Illustrated is unlikely to improve the public image of either ; it would be hard to think of another ownership group in U.S. professional sports who’ve so thoroughly antagonized a community. Miami Mayor Thomas Regalado, perhaps unaware his choice of rhetoric will eliminate any chance of topping Still Single’s Best Albums of 2013 chart, spoke with CBS4′s David Sutta :

Regalado, who hadn’t seen the article until CBS4 showed it to him, is quoted throughout including a line where he says “Miami has a history of bad deals, but I would rate this Number 1. The residents of Miami were raped. Completely.”

When asked about the quote, Regalado stood by it.

“I think it’s the truth. I think it was a very bad deal,” he said.

Miami-Dade’s Mayor Carlos Gimenez, another no-vote in the stadium vote several years ago, calls the Marlins carpetbaggers, tone deaf and, “The gift that keeps on giving.”

Marlins President David Samson is quoted saying of the team, “I would’ve sold it opening night. Just walk on the filed, say, ‘Thank you Miami, I love you, this is your ballpark, see you later.’

The Zenmaster’s Twitter Experience Is Off To A Rough Start

Posted in Basketball, twitter twatter at 8:35 pm by


How great would it be if Phil retired — undefeated —- from Twitter after this inaugural entry?

McCarver Announces Retirement To A Saddened Nation — Is There No Way He Can Take Joe Buck WIth Him?

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 1:04 pm by

After a lengthy broadcasting career that included a noteworthy 15 years as an analyst in the New York Mets television booth, the oft-pilloried Tim Carver used a preseason conference call with the sports media earlier today to announce he’ll not seek an extension to his Fox deal when the 2013 season concludes. From USA Today’s Michael Hiestand :

“I want to take cooking classes in Italy,” said McCarver, who spoke on a conference call from his home in Napa, Calif.

“And I love to read, although I know reading gets old after a while.”

“How about painting?” joked Buck.

“I’m not a painter,” McCarver responded.

“I wanted to step down while I could still do the job,” says McCarver. “It’s not a tough call, it’s not a sad thing for me. … But I’m going to miss Joe Buck a lot.

After 34 years in TV broadcast booths, McCarver isn’t sure if he wants or will be offered a role on the upcoming Fox Sports 1 cable channel. “There’s no plan in place right now. I just don’t know,” he said. “I don’t want to speculate.”

Fox has left open the possibility of using McCarver on the new channel, which debuts Aug. 17. “We’ll continue to do what we can to fit in his schedule,” says Fox Sports co-president Eric Shanks, who added he has a “man crush” on McCarver.


The 2013 Boston Red Sox : Come For The Cheap(er) Beer, Stay For The Star Power Of Jonny Gomes

Posted in Baseball, Beer, The Marketplace at 11:46 pm by

(above : noted superfan William “Major” Ligue, shown with trusted advisers, contemplating moving AL allegiances from Chicago to Boston)
It’s only right and natural fair that if I’m gonna mock the Miami Marlins for their inability to pack their garish eyesore of a stadium for Opening Day, Boston’s plans to address poor 2013 ticket sales receive equal coverage. On Tuesday, the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin reported the Red Sox are slashing prices on beer ($5, reduced from $7.50 for a 12 ounce cup), offering a free hot dog with each dog purchased, and providing free grub for kids under 14 for all games in April. “Why just April?” asks Over The Monster’s Marc Normandin, before answering his own question (“Presumably, the hope right now is that only April needs to be promised”)

If the Sox are doing well in April, and tickets are flying into the hands of fans once more, cheaper concessions aren’t as much of a priority. If the Sox start slow once more, though, then maybe the deal ends up leaking into May in order to keep people coming and bring back some of the idea that Fenway is a place you can take the family to see a game without breaking the bank. There’s no need, from a business perspective, to show that hand before you need to, though. And, as much as people like to forget this sometimes, a business perspective is just what a Major League Baseball team like the Red Sox have.

The Red Sox don’t expect Fenway to be a ghost town, but a look at a ticket resale site like Ace Ticket gives you an idea of how much easier it might be to get to games than it normally is. While seats are available for the home opener at a starting price of $95, the second home game of the season starts at $9 — the only game over $30 for a starting price is on April 15, the 11:05 am game against the Rays on Patriots’ Day.Five of April’s 17 home games have tickets starting at $9 at Ace, and even weekends are much cheaper than you’d expect them to be if you’ve been paying attention to the secondary market the last few years.

AJC’s Schulz : Smith, Howland Firings Unjust

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts at 9:30 pm by

Pointing out that recently deposed UCLA head coach Ben Howland is the only man other than John Wooden to lead the Bruins to 3 consecutive Final Four appearances, Atlanta Journal-Constitution scribe Jeff Schultz considers the former’s sacking, “lunacy”. He might well have a different perspective had he witnessed the way Howland’s charges quit on him last Friday night in Austin (or if he’d considered the manner in which Howland has allegedly buried the program with Southern California’s top recruits). Schultz also takes exception to Minnesota’s termination of Tubby Smith, pointing out the former Kentucky head coach’s Gophers campaigns, “came at a school that accomplished only 10 other 20-win seasons in its 118-year history, and all of those came amid academic fraud, paying players, a ticket-selling scandal and an almost cartoon-like 100 NCAA violations in one particularly horrific four-year span. (Thank you, Bill Musselman.)” In the case of both firings, Schultz rails against a March Madness climate that creates new coaching stars overnight while reducing others’ hard-fought careers to rubble.

The knee-jerk firings and hirings are driven by the tournament. Previously unknown coaches such as Florida Gulf Coast’s Andy Enfield are suddenly cast as everybody’s savior.

Norwood Teague, the athletic director at Minnesota, suddenly believes the Gophers can do better than Smith. Smith won and didn’t cheat. He beat UCLA by 20 points in the first round before losing to Florida (possibly a Final Four team). He succeeded despite playing and recruiting against Indiana, Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State — in hoops, not hockey.

Teague is going after Shaka Smart, whom he hired at Virginia Commonwealth. I’m sure there are guys who went to middle school with Kate Upton who think they’ve got a chance with her, too.

UCLA is high-profile. It could land Smart or another good coach, but firing Howland is nonsensical. Howland brought in the nation’s No. 2 recruiting class and was 25-10 this season. He also didn’t cheat. The early tournament exit doesn’t suggest the foundation under Pauley Pavilion is crumbling. Somewhere in heaven, Wooden is covering his eyes.

Phillies’ AAA Affiliate Wins The Non-Mundane Press Release Of Late March 2013 Award

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 1:03 pm by

Full credit to the front office of the International League’s Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs for proving that when it comes to early April Fool’s Day mischief, GQ Magazine’s got nothing on minor league baseball.

“These games are sure to make a huge splash,” exclaimed IronPigs General Manager Kurt Landes. “Our fans are always looking for the next big thing and these ‘X-Stream games’ are another example of our commitment to providing an unparalleled entertainment experience in all aspects of Coca-Cola Park, including our restrooms.”

When a user approaches the urinal, the video console flips into gaming mode, using patented technology that detects both his presence and stream.  Algorithms then allow the user to engage with the screen by aiming in different directions to test their agility and knowledge.  The games are 100% intuitive and custom-built to provide a unique user interface along with an easy and seamless experience.  The Urinal Gaming System was created and developed by United Kingdom-based Captive Media.  For more information on Captive Media, or to see a video of the p-controlled video games, visit www.captive-media.co.uk.

Upon completion (an average of over 55 seconds according to published research), users will receive their score and a code to enter. They can then view their position on the leader board or check the website to see how they stack up with the rest of that night’s competition!  High scores will be displayed in real-time across various videoboard displays within Coca-Cola Park.

Record Collectors Across The Globe Owe Buzz Bissinger A Huge Debt Of Gratitude

Posted in non-sporting journalism at 12:35 pm by

From this day forth, if any CSTB reader receives grief from a significant other for their purchase of say, The Frantix’ “My Dad’s A Fuckin’ Alcoholic”, they can simply point to Pulitzer Prize winner Buzz Bissinger’s piece in the April 1 issue of GQ (“My Gucci Addiction”) and say, “yeah, but am I really that bad?”

Just to be perfectly clear, I have no personal animus towards Mr. Bissinger and for the record, I find his claims of spending more than a half million dollars on leather jackets, leather trousers and other items that might suggest Rob Halford is his personal style guru, far less embarrassing than say, his rabid defense of Lance Armstrong, endorsement of Mitt Romney or televised tantrum aimed at Will Leitch.  Buzz has much to say in GQ about his own sexuality and while I encourage everyone to engage in similar exploration, I certainly hope such journeys can be undertaken for less than a half million dollars.

That said, when a writer of Bissinger’s skill (and self-awareness) confesses “clothing became my shot glass, another round, Net-a-Porter…I wasn’t mainlining heroin, just impossibly gorgeous leather jackets and coats and boots and gloves and evening jackets,” I cannot help but recall another decorated author’s battles with addiction. Toblerone, to be precise.


Miami’s Box Office Woes – Maybe They Need A New Ballpark?

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace, Ugly New Stadiums at 11:03 pm by

Even before their most recent fire sale, Marlins tickets weren’t hard to come by ; with the 2013 season nearing, CBS Miami’s David Sutta reports Jeffrey Loria and David Samson’s gaudy venue won’t even be full on Opening Day, with the club resorting to GroupOn with a BOGO offer.

“Instead of Groupons why don’t they just go ahead and open the gates and eventually just let people come in free and see what happens,” a caller to Andy Slater’s 64o AM show said.

“A home opener in Major League Baseball is supposed to be a special day where you barely have to promote it. It promotes itself. Its a home opener. People go,” Slater said.

When asked about the offer, the Marlins issued a statement saying, “It is our priority to ensure that the excitement and energy of Major League Baseball and of the award-winning Marlins Park, remain cost-effective and accessible to all families throughout the South Florida community. The Marlins, along with many sports teams throughout the country, have used and will continue to use Groupon along with other social marketing sites to help accomplish that goal. In addition, as usual, fans may also benefit from special promotions and deals available at http://www.marlins.com.”

While Slater suggests showing the NCAA hoops title game on the Marlins Park Jumbotron Opening Night (especially if the University Of Miami advances that far), perhaps there’s a way for the club to work out a cross-marketing arrangement with another local business that’s under siege.  Is no one answering the phone at Biogenesis?

Guest Editorial : Congrats To David Howard On Knowing His Role

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York at 4:52 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, noted consumer advocate / baseball executive Randy L. of the Bronx has helpfully chimed in on the sports events of the day.  With today’s news that longtime Mets Vice-President / Wilpon apologist David Howard had accepted a similar position at with James Dolan’s Madison Square Garden,  Randy kindly offered, nay, DEMANDED to express his best wishes – GC)

GREETINGS, finger-sniffers, rug-humpers and fantasy baseball enthusiasts — or am I being redundant?  I trust you’re all enjoying your NCAA bracket competitions as much as I am, though I thank you in advance for NEVER MENTIONING YOURS AGAIN.  There’s very few things I’m less interested in than how you’re performing in some low-stakes gambling enterprise (though if you have hard evidence of A-Rod’s participation in one, by all means get in touch).  The fate of your bracket matters as much to me as the results of Nick Swisher’s latest STD test, which is to say NOT AT ALL.

But I digress.  Monday afternoon brought news that a man I’ve long regarded as a peer in the local baseball wars, Mets VP David Howard, is leaving the Temple Of Doom known as Citi Field, instead opting for one of the least attractive jobs this side of manning a mop at Kinematics (ask John Sterling), running business operations for Jim Dolan.

I like to have a laugh at the Mets’ expense as much as any other successful person, but truth be known, I’ve long admired David’s aptitude in dealing with the easily duped, be they members of the working media or the pathetic saps who willingly shell out for season tickets at a ballpark so devoid of character and charm, it actually manages to make the New Yankee Stadium seem like a fun place to hang out.

However, anyone with an ounce of common sense realizes there’s no long-term future in working for deadbeat Fred Wilpon or his sickeningly entitled son.  Granted, there’s some kindly, washed-up caretaker types in Flushing (Alderson, Collins, etc.), but you’d have be a borderline mental defect to make a serious commitment to that organization.  But enough about David Wright — sometimes when G-d is handing out the good looks, he’s a little stingy with the brains.

So with all that in mind, here’s wishing David Howard all the best in his new position.  Not only will he experience the glamour of trying to find an emergency NA meeting for Gregg Allman at 3am and the morale-building hijinx that make MSG such a great place to work (gluing cock pics to Wally Sczerbiak’s eyebrows, calling security on Baron Davis every time he unlocks his own car), but he’s dodged the biggest sports business bullet of them all ; constantly having his performance measured against that of yours truly.

Let’s face it.  No matter how adept David Howard was at lying on behalf of his boss, regardless of how convincingly he shilled for owners of a baseball franchise that doesn’t give a flying fuck about history, their players or the fans….he was always gonna be New York’s Second Best.  Glad he eventually figured it out and got of baseball with his nuts intact.   Best of luck in the new gig, David, and if you ever need tickets for a Yankee game….call Ticketmaster.  I’m told there’s plenty of good seats left for Opening Day.

Randy L.


Former Scourge Of Long Island H.S. Cheerleader Tryouts Reveals A Previously Unseen Political Consciousness

Posted in Baseball, Basketball, twitter twatter at 11:19 pm by

EAT SHIT, Katherine Harris.   Paulie Go Nuts has your number – just be relieved he’s not calling!


Blogger’s Bold Proposal For The NHL’s Destitute – Resort To Hi-Tech Begging

Posted in Blogged Down, Hockey, The Marketplace at 6:04 pm by

(Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs – eager to learn more about this public-donations-towards-payroll business)

Whether it’s a vehicle to raise funds for an important documentary film or just a neat way for Ume to hire Creed’s engineer, Kickstarter.com has been an unrivaled success in the burgeoning electronic shakedown crowdsourcing field. After producers of a proposed “Veronica Mars” movie raised $2 million in half a day, The Hockey Writers’ Jameson Cooper suggests, “based on how Kickstarter is taking off in Hollywood, I wouldn’t be surprised if rumblings began to circulate around the front offices of many pro (hockey) teams in the future.”

If the Florida Panthers continue to remain unable to collect the money needed for a new scoreboard, then perhaps a platform like Kickstarter could be used to expedite the process. If the organization were to start a fund to help pay for the renovation either partially or in full, I have no doubt that even the Panthers’ medium sized fan base would be able to help raise the money needed to complete the project.

As I write this, there are 8 teams in the NHL whose payroll is roughly $15 million under the league’s salary cap. While the numbers may be a bit funky this season due to next year’s impending lower cap, the fact remains that many teams fail to come within reach of the league’s cap even though they are given the option. This has nothing to do with a team’s desire to win or build the best team, but rather their inability to go on spending sprees due to the limitations of their market. This is where Kickstarter could potentially come into play.

Kickstarter could not have saved the Atlanta Thrashers from moving to Winnipeg, but it could have helped improve the Nassau Colosseum enough for the Islanders to not flee to Brooklyn. I for one, would relish the opportunity to kick a few bucks toward my favored team if the return meant that my team would be in a better position than it is now.

Mets 1B Ike David – A Shining Example That Jewish Kids Don’t Have To Settle For Being Doctors, Lawyers…

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York, Religion at 5:21 pm by

….or owners of MLB franchises. On the eve of Passover, the New York Post’s Mike Puma explores Davis’ Judaism, making certain not to ask Steve Lyons for a comment.

Last month, while in Manhattan to accept the Thurman Munson award, Davis spoke to a group of children at a synagogue. He also been asked to speak in synagogues back home in Scottsdale.

“They want to talk, how is it being looked up to by Jewish kids, showing that we just don’t have to be doctors and lawyers and stuff like that,” Ike said. “You can follow your dreams and be an athlete and do whatever you want to do. You don’t have to just be smart or whatever. It’s pretty cool that they’ll back you just because of that.”

When Ike arrived with the Mets, he was asked by Fred Wilpon, who is Jewish, if he wanted to observe the religious holidays of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah by not playing on those days. Davis considered observance, but ultimately decided he would play those days.

“I said it’s a personal choice and I couldn’t tell him if it’s right or wrong,” Wilpon said. “I offered to put him in touch with Sandy Koufax and he could talk to him about why he made his choice [not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series]. Ike said he was fine and he didn’t need to do that.”


New Mexico Blogger To One & Done Lobos : You Just Lost Yourself A Customer

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts, Sports Journalism at 9:49 pm by

After Harvard was throttled by Arizona earlier today, you might figure said result only heightens the disappointed for fans of #3 seed New Mexico, following the Lobos’ upset defeat to Tommy Ammaker’s squad on Thursday.  It’s unlikely we’ll see a further column on the subject from Loboland’s Dennis Latta, who declares, “I’ve been around Lobo basketball for 33 seasons. For 32 of those seasons, I knew that UNM had a team that could fold and lose to anyone at any time. I never got my expectations too high because a collapse was possible anytime they walked out on that floor.”  Hey, fool Latta 32 times, shame on you.  Fool him a 33rd time, shame on him.

I thought that coach Steve Alford and athletic director Paul Krebbs were smart to announce a new 10-year contract the day before the Lobos started their march through the NCAA. No one would complain about the big dollars because UNM was on the road to glory.

I was wrong.

But I won’t be wrong again. It was a lot easier to take when expectations were lower. Losing was acceptable because UNM had almost always lost when it really counted. You didn’t have visions of greatness, only to have them dashed. After the pitiful performance UNM put up against a team that doesn’t even offer scholarships, I’ve given up. Having all five starters back next season means nothing on a team that can just disappear like that. I’d be back to wondering when it would collapse, have a terrible game and lose to an inferior team again.

No, I’ve had it. I’ve been to my last Lobo basketball game after covering the team for much of the last 33 years.

Former Rangers Outfielder Shows George W. Bush What Outsider Art Is All About

Posted in Baseball, Modern Art at 2:34 pm by

Jose Canseco’s “Bud Selig”.   Though Jose’s chances of getting into Cooperstown without a ticket remain slim, he’s got an outside shot at the 2014 Whitney Biennial ;  I’m certain co-curator Michelle Grabner continues to read CSTB on a regular basis, and will hopefully reach out to Canseco before he peddles any more of his early works on the open market.