The Spaniard complained of the standard of football in Division Three claiming: ‘I didn’t sign for the level, I signed for the money. I’ll get another contract after Rangers.”
Celtic supporter Tommy – who has never revealed his surname – was pretending to be middle-man Jack McGonigle and has previously tricked disgraced former Rangers owner Craig Whyte and ex-SFA chief executive David Taylor, now a senior UEFA official.
Sandaza tells the prankster he is on £4,500 a week for the first season of his four-year deal, which goes up to £10,000 in the final year. By that time the Ibrox club would expect to be back in the top flight of Scottish football.
The 28-year-old striker, who believed ‘McGonigle’ was approaching him about a move to Major League Soccer in the United States, admitted he would quit Ibrox for a better deal but insists he does not want the club to know about the conversation.
He says: ‘Do not do it officially through the club. Send me the contract first. I don’t want trouble if Rangers find out about this.’
While Scott Weiland’s current club tour continues to generate daily headlines (well, at Blabbermouth.net, anyway) another legendary reprobate, Angels OF Josh Hamilton is contending with disgruntled Rangers fans and heavy expectations from his new employers alike. Through all of it, however, Jimmy Sanderson, assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Clemson University, and Elizabeth Emmons, a doctoral student in the College of Communication and Information Sciences at the University of Alabama, seem to think Hamilton is held in relatively high regard, using nearly 500 comments from a Rangers message board as their basis for research. From Medical Daily’s Justin Caba (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory) :
“Josh Hamilton is a perfect example of a transparent, likeable athlete with a lot of support from fans,” Emmons said. “With his well-known struggles with alcohol and other addictions, he has disclosed personal aspects that people can relate to, and thus when he falls short, people have an avenue to respond to him through digital media.”
The findings revealed that Hamilton’s supporters forgave him through offering support, “addiction is hard” narratives, human condition attributions and justification. Another majority claimed they were incapable of forgiving Hamilton due to his apparent character flaws.
Surprisingly a large segment of the forum’s contributors expressed feeling closer to Hamilton because of his endeavors. One fan commented: “You are just like all of us because we all stumble, fail, and have to get back up and recover from our bruises too.”
The idea of perpetrating the same old gender divisions in an area like tech – which has predominantly been a boy’s club throughout history – seemed like kind of a messed up thing to do. It represents the most banal form of internet content that exists.
“Most banal form of internet content that exists”? Bad enough that Luke wants to have it both ways, but was it really necessary to issue an open challenge to Bleacher Report?
The suit is an attempt to solve the longstanding problem that Major League Baseball has faced in trying to discipline players who have been linked to doping but have not tested positive for a banned substance. After a 2007 report by former Senator George J. Mitchell detailed widespread use of performance enhancers by major league players, Commissioner Bud Selig created a department of investigations — composed of former law enforcement officials — to better police the sport.
But to make a doping case against players who have not tested positive, the investigators need documentary evidence or witness testimony. And because the investigators do not have law enforcement privileges, like subpoena power, they have had little leverage in trying to build cases against players that would lead to suspensions.
So now baseball is trying a new tactic. A lawsuit, if allowed to proceed, would give the sport the ability to subpoena records from the clinic, which is now closed, and compel depositions. Some of the information uncovered could then conceivably be used by baseball to justify disciplinary actions against players.
Given that 14-year NBA vet turned Bulls TV analyst Kendall Gill (above, left) had a brief tenure as a professional boxer, he might be the wrong TV guy to pick a fight with. Since Wally Szczerbiak’s punchable face is employed by MSG, however, he wasn’t on hand for a taping of Comcast Sports Net’s “Sports Talk Live” Tuesday, leaving the Big Ten Network’s Tim Doyle with no better opponent than Gill, as eyewitness Danny Ecker of Crain’s Chicago Business explains :
Mr. Gill approached Mr. Doyle and called him out for his comments, which escalated to a shoving match and ultimately Mr. Gill throwing a punch at Mr. Doyle. The two bumped up against a sign on the wall and a small amount of blood was drawn (though it was unclear exactly how) before the two were separated.
“We’re looking further into the incident that took place in our newsroom earlier today,” said CSN Chicago news director Kevin Cross in a statement late last night. “Until the investigation is complete, Kendall Gill will not be appearing on our air.”
For all the abuse heaped upon Jay Horowitz this morning after he mistakenly called Frank Viola the Mets’ last 20 game winner, you’d think the former was responsible for trading R.A. Dickey to Toronto. Or that Horowitz was the genius who decided to open a new ballpark with terrible sightlines, Grand Canyon-esque power alleys and more fixtures recalling the history of the Brooklyn Dodgers than the actual team that played in Flushing.
You’d think Horowitz was the general manager that signed Jason Bay. You’d think he was the desperate owner who sought to open an adjacent Indian casino, only to settle for an Amway pop-up shop.
8-year professional Shavlik Randolph parlayed a strong showing for the Chinese Basketball Association’s Foshan Long Lions into signing a pair of 10 day contracts with the Celtics. Despite myriad holes in his game (“his lack of hesitation from medium-range looked Garnett-like, but his clangs off the back iron looked Ben Wallace-like”), the Bleacher Report’s Sloan Piva insists the 29 year-old C could be “A Possible X-Factor For A Celtics Playoff Drive”.
Randolph received little to no playing time in his first ten-day stint, primarily because Boston was in the middle of a grueling stretch mixed with road games and playoff-bound opponents. But he served as a strong teammate regardless, rooting on each rotation and showing Brian Scalabrine-like Celtic pride.
Boston must decide by Thursday whether it wants to extend Randolph’s contract. It seems like a no-brainer to bring him back, considering the sheer size and talent he brings to the table.
Maybe the big man will return to the bench, cheering on his teammates as a grateful reserve. Or maybe he’ll continue to show that he yearns for bigger things in his NBA career, and prove himself as an x-factor for a Boston Celtics team that needs size to survive.
(not only is the above ad deeply sexist, but it also suggests a vasectomy reversal might be the best way to watch the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight in relative peace and quiet)
It seems strange and a little contradictory, the way that college basketball’s image-makers gloss over its teenage churn and general feudo-corporate sketchiness in selling the college game as the tradition-friendly True Basketball alternative to the flashy, for-the-money and otherwise code-worded NBA. Sure, college basketball has plenty of history behind it, many dusty decades and all flavors of dated dominance and boxer-brief shorts and Lorenzo Charles-ian random instances of grace, but in the present it is pure chaos. None of this is a bad thing, really; it’s just that the thing as marketed is different than the thing as consumed.
But there is room for tradition within college basketball’s familiar anarchy. There are things that endure from year to year, graduating class to graduating class, consistent and persistent and true. There is the observation that Mike Krzyzewski looks like the puppet from the popular Saw series, which grows only more true with the years. And there is also the CSTBracket, which returns for its seventh year. That’s a feat matched in the NCAA Tournament field only by Minnesota big man Trevor Mbakwe, who played in his first college game when Bill Clinton was President. Time flies, in other words, but what endures, endures.
As in the past, there will probably be a prize of some sort, and as in the past I don’t really know what it will be yet. In the past, GC has generously offered an amusingly outdated basketball-related video game — I’m pretty sure last year’s grand champion received a copy of Eric Montross’s Know Your Limitations Hoops ’97 for TurboGrafx 16 — and I suppose my (oddly still-unredeemed) offer from a few years back to send a photo of myself wearing my Corliss Williamson jersey to the winner still stands. But the important thing is not the prize: the important thing is participating in a tradition that now stretches back years, and which offers all of us an opportunity not just to participate in a living part of college basketball history, but to be totally wrong about Belmont’s bracket-busting abilities in the exact same way we were last year.
This is what it’s all about, and what it has always been about. To join the bracket, go here. The League ID is 101646, the password is cstbracket, and history will be there with you, as you pick a hugely flawed bracket that will, more or less inevitably, still be more correct than mine.
Whether you cover the NBA in general or the Brooklyn Nets in particular, I don’t know how you could possibly function without the zealous support of the Nets’ PR dept., best exemplified by the mind-blowing (numbing?) @Nets_PR twitter account. Whether marking Andre Blatche’s 400th career block, Brook Lopez’ 2000th career field goal (remember where you were when that happened?) or noting “#Barclays Kiss Cam proposals now a perfect 4-4 on the year, #Nets undefeated in such games”, nothing gets past club PR director Calder Hynes. Sadly, the @Nets_PR feed has gone dark, as The Brooklyn Game’s Devin Kharpertian details :
Nets PR, the Brooklyn Nets public relations Twitter account famous for posting absurdist, light-hearted, sometimes sardonic tweets like “The Nets are 32-0 when outscoring opponent (sic) this season,” “That’s the 11th time Reggie Evans has lost his headband this season (career high),” and “Lopez has 12 points tonight … Brook has 10 of those on 5-7 shooting” when Brook played twin brother Robin, hasn’t posted a tweet since February 28th — a mundane note about Tornike Shengelia’s D-League performance.
That’s because the Nets organization has decided to go in a different direction with how they use their PR account — specifically, changing the voice that represents the team’s public relations. The Nets want a unified voice from their public accounts, a voice that the PR account’s nature didn’t align with.
This isn’t the first time the Nets have had issues with their social media voice. On February 6th, a light-hearted tweet about Brook Lopez’s sad demeanor after a loss was accidentally sent out from the official Brooklyn Nets account and quickly deleted. A fan screencapped the tweet and sent it multiple times to Nets CEO Brett Yormark and GM Billy King (among others), demanding that the person running the account be fired for the error.
Unless you believe the value of the Chicago Cubs franchise is inextricably tied to the iconic status of Wrigley Field — and that’s not the craziest assumption given the on-field product most years — club chairman Tom Ricketts received something resembling a bargaining chip in his negotiations with the city Monday. Rosemount, IL Mayor Brad Stephens is offering the Cubs a 25 acre parcel of land and what sounds like zero restrictions on night games and ballpark signage ; presumably, Stephens will have few qualms, personal or political, with any future attempts by Ricketts to torpedo Rahm Emmanuel’s old boss. From CSN.com’s Dave Kaplan :
“The Chicago Cubs are being held hostage by the neighborhood as they look to run their business. We are willing to offer them a tremendous opportunity if they are interested. Bring the bricks and the ivy and we can get a deal done, ” Stephens told me this morning.
“Rosemont is very pro-development and we have a long history of experience dealing with big business. From my position, you have a wealthy family willing to pay all of the costs of a major renovation project, which will bring a tremendous number of jobs to the community,” Stephens said.
“However, they are not getting cooperation from the neighborhood,” Stephens added. “Even if the Cubs get a deal done now what will happen when they need something else a year or two years down the road? This will not be the last time the community or the alderman will be difficult to deal with. The Cubs will never have those kinds of problems if they move to Rosemont.”
* Saturday, 11 a.m., WFAN airs an ad for “Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club,” replete with “VIP Rooms” and a “6-9 Happy Hour.” Immediately — and appropriately — following that spot, came a promo for the “Boomer and Carton Show.” And moments after that, a commercial for this-is-not-a-drill! Carnival Cruise Lines. – Phil Mushnick, “Equal Time”, NY Post, March 18, 2013
Given space limitations, Phil can be excused from mentioning, for instance, that when his paymasters aren’t bugging phones and revealing the names of teenage rape victims, they’ve not previously been reluctant to surround his virtuous column with print advertisements for establishments very similar to Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club.
However, if Phil objects to such commercial enticements being aired at 11am on a Saturday morning, I share his outrage. You don’t have to be Mary Whitehouse to know that WFAN is wildly popular with impressionable young children, all of whom consider the likes of Richard Neer and Steve Somers to be bigger role models than their own parents (look it up).
While taking nothing away from the Dominican Republic’s impressive showing in the WBC thus far, more than a few of us couldn’t help but wonder if Team USA wouldn’t have fared better if more American-born superstars fucked over their employers like David Wright took an interest in the competition. Of course, that’s only the part of the problem, as former NY Times baseball columnist turned back acne expert Murray Chass has another, perhaps more appropriate goat to blame ; the indifferent management of Joe Torre. “Despite the Americans’ obvious problems hitting and scoring runs, Torre managed with the imagination of a tree trunk…I think Bobby Valentine could’ve done better.”
Torre managed as if he had Murderers’ Row in his lineup, forgoing any kind of small-ball strategy and waiting for a three-run home run. Of course, to slug a three-run home run, you need to get two runners on base, and the Americans had trouble doing that in the final two games against the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
With the way David Wright was hitting, his absence due to injury (yes, he was injured in the WBC, though he could have incurred that injury anywhere) hurt the USA team. Ryan Braun, Joe Mauer and Giancarlo Stanton didn’t produce enough to overcome his loss.
Maybe Torre was slow to recognize his deficit. Maybe, coming in the last two games, it didn’t give Torre enough time to adjust. Good managers, though, can adjust quickly and adapt to new circumstances.
But what do I know? Torre once told me I didn’t know anything about baseball, and neither, for that matter, did any other writer.
Late last night, internationally acclaimed rock musician Chris Lutzko and myself set off on foot from Trailer Space to try and catch the Cheater Slicks’ set at Beerland. We were well aware we’d be running the Red River gauntlet of horrible crowds and random noise coming from all corners, but it was either that or sit around and wait for the passed out guy in the Sid Vicious tee to piss himself (trust me, it was a coin flip).
At some point around the Sheraton on 12th Street, we were accosted by a young gent who said he didn’t know the area, seemed thoroughly unfamiliar with SXSW, and claimed he’d been separated from a band that was playing somewhere downtown.
“Have you guys heard of Immortal Guardian?” No, we hadn’t. Our new friend claimed the band in question were practitioners of “portable metal”, and were masters of the burgeoning genre known as “intense shredding”.
This was all sounding a little Faxed Head for my tastes, and when he asked if could use our phones, we both declined.
About 5 minutes later, we came upon a quintet who’d set up shop in the narrow bit of real estate between Red Eyed Fly and the Hot Dog King. Though they seemed to playing through the equivalent of an Easy Bake P.A., “intense shredding” (or at least shredding) would be an apt characterization for the path they chose to trample. And as you might’ve already guessed, the big, light-up sign above them read, “IMMORTAL GUARDIAN”.
What can we learn from this episode? For starters, if there’s any justice in the world, these guys passed the Red Eyed Fly audition (if not the Hot Dog King’s). Secondly, just because a young fella is jabbering mindlessly on Austin’s busiest public thoroughfare, that doesn’t necessarily mean he wants to run away with your smartphone. Or mine.
Boston’s Nathan Horton was struck in the forehead by the stick of Washington’s Matt Hendricks midway thru yesterday’s 4-1 Bruins victory, an incident that seemed to escape the short-term memory of Hendricks’ teammate, Karl Anzar. From WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia :
“That’s the biggest joke I’ve ever seen in my life, the fact that they let those guys corner a guy like that. For all they know, Henny has a broken hand and can’t fight. If we had done that to [Tyler] Seguin with [John] Erskine, you think they would’ve let that happen? Questionable, very questionable.”
Can the Capitals do anything to respond?
“Go after one of their guys, guess that the only thing you can do,” Alzner said. “But we’re probably not going to do that because we’re not that kind of team but that’s the only thing you can do.”
Former University of Texas women’s track coach Bev Kearney resigned two months ago after revelations surfaced she’d had a sexual relationship with one of her athletes in 2002. On Saturday, Kearney filed filed gender and race discrimination complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Texas Workforce Commission claiming a double standard on the part of the UT Athletic Department. From the Austin American-Statesman’s Kirk Bohls :
Derek Howard, who represents Kearney, alleges that his client has been the victim of a double standard at the university. He claims he has knowledge of “in excess of 10” other instances of inappropriate relationships at Texas and said some of them are ongoing and others reach back a decade.
“I think the university turns a blind eye to these inappropriate relationships,” Howard told the Statesman. He offered no evidence of such relationships or details about the behaviors, and he declined to say whether they involved athletic department members.
Howard said he filed the gender and race discrimination complaint with the federal and state agencies last Tuesday. Howard said his complaint will reference only Texas co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite, who is white and who admitted to an inappropriate consensual relationship with a female student trainer in 2009.
The Applewhite incident came to light within a month of its occurrence. He was reprimanded in writing, and his salary was frozen for a specific period.
Ryan’s position in this fight – a fight he picked, mind you – is far weaker than anyone seems willing to acknowledge. There is no other team in baseball that would hand Nolan Ryan its reins. None. The Houston Astros might invite him on board as a figurehead, but with George Postolos as CEO and Jeff Luhnow as GM, they have no room for anything more. Considering Ryan’s job with the Rangers now involves more than that, if it’s input he truly craves, his current situation is better than any with the Astros. And unless Ryan wants to leave Texas – and one friend says that at 66, with children and grandchildren and business to look after, he wouldn’t consider going elsewhere – it’s Rangers or bust.
Daniels, on the other hand, has spent 7½ years turning the Rangers from habitual doormat into a major league and player-development force. Certainly Ryan has helped. His strengths (gravitas as one of the great players ever and respect from some of the game’s bigger names) complement Daniels’ (shrewd trades and signings, respect among Texas’ player-development staff and a keen mixture of statistical know-how and scouting savvy), and they’ve made a good team, which is why Ryan’s hissy fit was so surprising. If Daniels’ ascending to president meant promotions for lieutenants Thad Levine, A.J. Preller and Don Welke, too, it would keep in place the Rangers’ successful hierarchy.
Should ownership cower to Ryan’s demands, the message to Daniels is clear: We have chosen sides. At which point Daniels would find there is a rather strong market for his services.
Longtime Lakers foil Bruce Bowen actually sided with Bryant to a degree, a somewhat surprising development from the former player who was similarly accused of sticking his feet under airborne players and was called “Edward Scissorhands” by former Lakers coach Phil Jackson for his rough hands-on play.
“[Jones] took away his space and in the game, you’re supposed to give the offensive player a place to land,” Bowen, the former San Antonio forward, told ESPN radio. “You saw Kobe fade away and you saw Dahntay Jones kind of continue to move in his direction. It should have been a foul call there.”
That was the only protection Bowen offered Bryant.
“I’m not saying that’s dirty on Dahntay’s behalf. A dirty play is taking the guy out of the air where he really has no place to come down as far as clotheslining and things like that,” Bowen said.
“Kobe has his own opinion. He’s trying to protect himself. He knows what he means to his team right now and they cannot afford not to have him at 100%. He’s going to go with, ‘This is a dangerous play, it’s my career that’s at stake.’ I don’t think his career was at stake. Kobe is going to sell it the best way he can.”
TODAY : During an action-packed SXSW, I will contain to maintain this is the stacked bill to beat. The Austin debut of Protomartyr (!)… a victory lap for Spray Paint after a middling ‘Still Single’ review…The Golden Pelicans’ first Red River show (of the day)…the Maytag dependability of Minneapolis’ Blind Shake…the more unpredictable-than-Johnny Rodz stylings of Lafayette, IN’s TV Ghost…the two biggest things to come out of Ohio since Greg Oden, THE UNHOLY TWO and OBNOX…an early afternoon patio set by NOLA’s BUCK BILOXI & THE FUCKS…and the whole mess is topped off with a 6pm patio performance by Tempe, AZ’s masters of truth in advertising, Destruction Unit.
There’s no cover. Wristbands, badges and RSVP’s are as useful as a print edition of The Deli Austin (ie., not at all).
From all the talk this spring of Mets P Johan Santana’s less than stellar physical condition, you’d think the 34-year-old —- called “my hero” less than a year ago by skipper Terry Collins — had shown up at Port St. Lucie resembling the late Mel Turpin. On Wednesday, Santana and GM Sandy Alderson declared a truce of sorts, but in the considered (well, correct) view of Faith & Fear In Flushing’s Jason Fry, it’s all too predictable for this ballclub.
As a veteran observer of Metsian misbehavior, it seems to me that this ballclub could get better results by realizing it’s not only ineffective but also deeply embarrassing to give players a good Walter Reeding periodically instead of having conversations behind closed doors like normal people. But since the air has been cleared, let’s not re-fog it — we can revisit this when Ike Davis or Ruben Tejada or Matt Harvey or someone else crosses some perceived line and needs to be publicly abused by “sources.”
B) He really wants to keep his job, or
C) the White Sox TV analyst is on the sort of powerful prescription medication you and I can only covet from afar.
How else to explain Stone’s remarks to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Chris De Luca following reports the former and White Sox broadcasting pariah partner Ken Harrelson (above) were called on the carpet by club chairman Jerry Reinsdorf at the end of the 2012 season in an attempt to quell the obvious bad vibes that exist between the pair?
‘‘I believe everything has been resolved,’’ Stone said. ‘‘I think this year is going to be much better broadcasts than it has been.
‘‘We’re two pretty smart guys. And the common ground that we reached and what I told him: I’m only interested in one thing, and that’s to make the best broadcast possible. I want this to be our best year, and I think both of us have the ability to do that.’’
Both admitted there had been growing tension the last two seasons. This came after a pretty good marriage the first two seasons.
‘‘I really have no idea,’’ Stone said. ‘‘I guess if you really can’t pin down anything, it’s never really simple. It’s never really one thing; it’s a number of things.
Some have speculated Hawk’s homerism grates on Stone, but Stone denied it.
‘‘There are people who view that as a negative; I view it as an extreme positive,’’ Stone said. ‘‘I like the fact that he wants the White Sox to win every day. I want the White Sox to win every day, but he has been around longer. He also believes that every call should go the White Sox’ way. Obviously, as we know, it doesn’t work that way.”