04.22.13

Rocker : Harvard Yard’s Even Worse Than The 7 Train

Posted in Baseball, Firearms, Free Expression at 9:02 pm by

OK, I’m sort of putting words in the mouth of former Braves closer turned conservative pundit John Rocker (above), but only slightly.  After observing mostly negative reactions to Jonathan Papelbon’s ill-advised decision to interject his pro-guns rhetoric into a discussion of the Boston Marathon bombings, Rocker uses his latest WND.com editorial to come to the Phillies reliever’s defense (“in our increasingly leftist-dominated, totalitarian climate of discourse, where the mainstream media serve as little more than 24/7 marketers (cheerleaders) for whatever policy is pushed by the Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee, Papelbon’s slip of the tongue was like throwing fresh chum to the sharks”)

To the left, Papelbon’s admission that “Obama wants to take our guns from us” translates to the type of image they have of gun-rights enthusiasts. Primarily a white male – most of the time Southern or easily classifiable as a “redneck,” worried about the federal government coming and depriving them of their rights.

To the left, pseudo-intellectuals or those with the right Eastern Establishment credentials (a degree from an Ivy League school) always know what is best for America, and Papelbon’s brand of free speech, they demand, is exactly the kind of divisive talk that must come to an end.

One of my former Atlanta Brave teammates, Mark Wohlers, has become an outspoken advocate for gun rights via his Twitter page (be sure to follow him here) and quickly became the target of activist-writer Jeff Pearlman.

Jonathan Papelbon was right to speak up about the threat of the Obama administration coming for your guns, for if he played for the Rockies in Denver, or the Mets or Yankees in New York, the Democrat-controlled state government there would have already done much to erode his rights.

Since Rocker raised the matter of “Eastern Establishment credentials”, let it be noted that Jeff Pearlman is a graduate of the University Of Delaware. Or as they like to call it in Newark, DE, “EXACTLY LIKE HARVARD, ONLY WITH CHEAPER TUITION (AND MORE FLACCO JERSEYS)”.

Finally, A Product Tony Siragusa Is Fully Qualified To Endorse

Posted in Gridiron, The Marketplace at 7:54 pm by

Former Colts/Ravens DT Tony Siragusa appeared on Sirius/XM’s Howard Stern show last autumn and discussed a passage from his recently published autobiography in which he contends with a bout of in-game incontinence. Perhaps with Sirgausa’s Walker Prize-winner in mind, the makers of Depends brand adult diapers have sought his pitchman skills for an advertisement Business Insider’s Laura Stampler calls, “heavy on the machismo”.

The state of Siragusa’s bladder control is currently unknown given that he never refers to suffering from the problem in the Ogilvy-created ad. He merely acts as a leakage coach. This is a different tactic from Kimberly-Clark Corp.’s strategy for a Poise ad campaign three years ago in which Whoopi Goldberg admitted to suffering from a little “spritz” every now and then. K-C Corp owns Depend and Poise.

Other underwear protector celebrity spokespeople include Lisa Rinna, from “Days of our Lives,” and Kirstie Alley, who played the Poise Light Bladder Leakage Fairy.

“Men entering the category are pretty confused,” Depend brand director Liz Metz told Ad Age, continuing that Siragusa was chosen because of “the masculinity and normalcy of the condition and making men know they’re not alone in this journey.”

It’s Only Right & Natural : Trevor Pryce’s Fear Of Frogs

Posted in Going To The Zoo, Gridiron at 3:19 pm by

By pro football standards, 14 year veteran DE Trevor Pryce is something of a renaissance man, one whose independent label exploits and television production initiatives suggest he’s not the sort of person reluctant to express himself freely.  That said, I’m not sure anyone could’ve been prepared to learn that Pryce’s hardcover fiction debut would be titled, “An Army Of Frogs : A Kuliari Novel”. From publicist Adam Riefenberek :

His fear comes from that ugly greenish-brown color and the fact that they are filled with pus…or so he thought as a kid. So why did he write this book? Was it a way to tackle his fear head-on? God, no. He wrote it because of the color blue. His favorite color is blue, and the first time he saw a bright blue poison dart frog on TV, at age twelve, he was enthralled. For some reason, he wasn’t scared of the frog that could actually kill him, and Pryce immediately wanted one as a pet.

Fast-forward a few decades. He was getting ready to retire from football and focus on his writing. He was looking for ideas for a book and kept coming back to that first time he saw a poison dart frog. Pryce figured that if he’d reacted to them the way he did when he was twelve, other twelve-year-olds were going to feel the same. So the Kulipari were born.

On the edge of the Australian outback, two young frogs—Darel and Gurnugan—are given the opportunity to show just how courageous and strong they can be. Lord Marmoo, the leader of the scorpion army, and Jarrah, the spider queen, are planning an attack on the frogs’ home—the lush Amphibilands—and it will be up Darel and Gurnugan and the brave and loyal nation of frogs to stop them. The Kulipari warriors who had come to their rescue in battles past seem to have faded from existence. And the turtle king, who has protected the Amphibilands for one hundred years “behind the veil” is now old and may not be able to withstand the blood lust and revenge sought by the scorpion army and Queen Jarrah. The Amphibilands are in grave danger.

Readers are effortlessly drawn in to this foreign, yet familiar land where wizened turtles ride crocodiles and young frogs dream of joining the ranks of the heroic Kulipari warriors. Pryce’s prose is full of life and energy as tree frogs, wood frogs, lizards, skinks, spiders and scorpions populate this memorable and magical chapter book, which has wonderful imagery, vivid illustrations and more action and adventure than a Monday Night game at Mile High.

04.21.13

Great News For Ernie Anastas

Posted in non-sporting journalism at 9:47 pm by

He’s finally off the hook!

Sleazoid Express It Ain’t : NY Times Scribe Is The Nitwit In The Upper Crust’s Posh Pit

Posted in New York, New York, non-sporting journalism at 9:12 pm by

(pic culled from EV Grieve – finally, the Lower East Side has establishments where blue blazers are as welcome as shredded tees)

Seeing as I left Lower Manhattan at the end of 1998, I’m hardly the best person to make any observations about how that part of the borough has changed, progressed, regressed, etc. Certainly, I’ve got my opinions, but a couple of trips to NYC per month these days is hardly basis for me to weigh in on the city’s cultural, social and economic changes with anything approaching a firm footing.

All of that said, I did spend 15 years downtown, during which time I’m not sure I ever got the impression the Lower East Side’s most easily-picked on persons…were the well off. To some degree, that’s the argument advanced by the New York Times Magazine’s Hugo Lindgren (“The Last Gasps Of The East Village”), who seems to regard his tales of hanging out at an Upper Crust show at Brownies as some sort of crucial collision of yacht club vs. the demi monde. When it comes to downtown history lessons, Legs McNeil and John Holstrom need not look over their shoulders.

Lindgren describes in somewhat excruciating detail, a physical altercation between a female pal from his social circle and “a stern redhead dressed in the Brownies uniform of shredded T-shirt and jeans”, or if you prefer, “the Courtney Love auxiliary riot grrrl versus the Westport lacrosse captain, a John Hughes movie come to life”.

If you’re wondering how Avenue A might’ve evolved since these heady days of 1996, Lindgren smugly sums it up ;

I like to remember the events of that evening as proof that the essence of the old East Village — a parochial distaste for any whiff of privilege — was not completely extinct by the time I got there. It is now. You can walk into pretty much any bar in New York wearing a blue blazer and boat shoes, and nobody cares. Lacrosse captains play in punk bands, and riot grrrls live in Murray Hill. This is obviously for the good, because tribal hostilities tend to be stupid. But they also make for some memorable clashes.

The author seems relieved the East Village no longer exudes “a parochial distaste for any whiff of privilege”. Translation : the weird/poor/arty are largely outnumbered and/or shoved out, therefor Lord Snot and his pals have the bars to themselves. BIG IMPROVEMENT.

Whatever problems the East Village had in the ’70′s, and ’80′s and ’90′s, prejudice against the wealthy wasn’t very high on the list. It would be interesting to see a list of EV denizens whose careers or social lives were ruined by the stigma of being rich. I have a suspicion you wouldn’t need more than a post-it note.

“Tribal hostilities tend to be stupid”. As opposed to say, bogus persecution complexes.

04.20.13

D’Alessandro – Nearly Choked Up Over PJ Being Left To Twist In The Wind

Posted in Basketball at 9:09 pm by

As of this writing, the Brooklyn Nets are in the process of routing the Chicago Bulls in Game One of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal, and if that result holds up, interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo would find himself with a record of 36-19 since taking over for the hastily fired Avery Johnson. A reasonable person might surmise that unless owner Mikhail Prokhorov has a scheme in place to hire Phil Jackson (or resurrect Red Auerbach), an extension for Carlesimo is long overdue.  Alas, as the Newark Star-Ledger’s Dave D’Alessandro asserts, we’re not dealing with reasonable people (“the Nets finished with the No. 4 seed, despite the fact that their franchise player was a lardbody with a bad wheel until the break, their $20 million shooting guard had his worst season in a decade, and their $10 million small forward has a 39 percent stroke that makes spectators shield their children’s eyes”)

“Oh, of course it’s an audition,” P.J. Carlesimo conceded. “There’s no doubt about it.”

And he is okay with this — because he’s P.J. Because he comes from a world where you learn not to have expectations, where you work for men you cannot see, even after saving their business when it was looked close to hopeless only four months ago.

He showed a flawed team of mismatched parts how to win. And he did it on the fly, without a camp, transforming the Nets from a punch line to a team that is going to be a very tough out for however long they survive this postseason.

If the Nets win this series, P.J. Carlesimo will have accomplished something pretty special. And even that might not earn him an encore.

The people who make the decision probably believe the public can only be engaged by hype and flash and images the owner can recognize on a billboard. That’s the business they’re in, one that comes from the viewpoint of pristine ignorance. That’s the only corporate knowledge they understand.

And even that might not earn him an encore.

The people who make the decision probably believe the public can only be engaged by hype and flash and images the owner can recognize on a billboard. That’s the business they’re in, one that comes from the viewpoint of pristine ignorance. That’s the only corporate knowledge they understand.

When Does The Guy With The Axe Get To Guest Host “Sound Opinions”?

Posted in record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 4:31 pm by

It’s a funny idea, but in all honesty, it doesn’t remind me of any sort of a discussion amongst Fall fans that you’d ever witness in real life.

Except for the final 40 seconds.

04.19.13

Raissman On Hernandez’ Harvey Hype : Keep It In Your Pants, Keith

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 5:50 pm by

Under most circumstances, SNY analyst Keith Hernandez isn’t gonna be accused of blatant homerism. Occasional sexism or eagerness to bolt on a blowout, perhaps, but rarely has Mex parroted a company line.  So it’s with that history of broadcasting excellence in that mind that it is a little disappointing to see the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman lay into Hernandez for the latter’s (understandable) enthusiasm for the performances of sophomore pitching phenom Matt Harvey, who not only finds himself overshadowing Stephen Strasburg tonight, but might end up being the only compelling reason to watch the New York Mets this season.  Regardless, Raissman warns Hernandez, “pull back on the gaga factor. If you don’t, crossing over from analyst into Fan Boy territory is easy to do,”, then suggesting that during Harvey’s stellar showing against Minnesota last Saturday, Keith crossed the line.

Hernandez should have limited the reminders and let the pictures do the talking. Instead he delivered lines like: “I’m just enjoying watching this man work.” Or how Harvey was “executing” pitches. Or how “relentless” Harvey was. This was evident just by watching. Hernandez was “enjoying” Harvey’s performance so much he often stated the obvious, something he rarely does.

As Justin Morneau’s drive hit off the right field foul pole for a home run, breaking up the no-hitter, Hernandez released a groan and an “oh,” sounding more like a disappointed fan then an analyst.

In the eighth, he talked about soliciting a bit of praise for Harvey. “I went over and talked to Bert Blyleven, the Hall of Fame pitcher, in the booth to our right, and said: ‘What do you think of our guy?’”

Our guy? Hernandez sounded like a cross between a proud, pom-pom carrying Mets fan and Sandy Alderson. It would be absolutely no surprise if Harvey’s brilliance can make a grown man — like Hernandez — cry, too.

Pay Plenty Of Attention To The Troll Behind The Curtain : UniWatch’s Lukas Confronts A Tireless Tormentor

Posted in Blogged Down at 3:38 pm by

Once upon a time, when CSTB had more then 2 posts a day and actually generated semblance of traffic, I had to deal with a handful abusive comments section fixtures, or trolls are they’ve more commonly known. Few would hang around for more than a few weeks, either because I wasn’t providing sufficient motivation or perhaps Jack In The Box issued a policy against taking your laptop to work. Either way, I thought I’d contended with my share of internet kooks, but none of ‘em compare to serial UniWatch-baiter Joe “Big Cock” Johnson, who over the the last 6 years has tortured (and occasionally entertained) UW publisher Paul Lukas with tales of his sexual exploits (“what did y’all do during the presidential debate last night? I reamed a bitch’s fuckhole and filled her with my seed”) and such bold stances as “stirrups ‘are for fags’”.

Most persons in Lukas’ position would’ve either ignored their pseudonymous stalker or gone to the other end of the spectrum and taken out a court order.  To Paul’s credit, he’s instead interviewed Mr. Big Cock, a 30 year financial analyst from St. Louis who professes, “I love Uni Watch. It’s a must-read every morning for me. And I have no ill will toward you at all.”

UW: what led you to do it in the first place? Like, why post abusive, trolling commentary? What was the motivation?

JJ: Really just to amuse myself. I still have a very sophomoric, immature sense of humor. I’ve always found cuss words to be funny. I find it particularly amusing when there’s a lot of shock value. Like, if you’re in front of a bunch of old people, or people from another generation, and you say something shocking, I find that amusing. And that’s a character flaw, I’m sure. But nevertheless, it was mostly about shocking people, mostly with vulgarities. When people see “cunt” or “twat” or something like that, those go beyond the typical “fuck” or “shit.”

UW: Had you ever done anything like that before, acting as a troll on a web site?

JJ: Yeah, absolutely. I used to do it a lot. I don’t so much anymore. Uni Watch is really the end of it, the last one…

UW: Really? I’ve been, like, your last hurrah, your farewell tour?

JJ: Well, it’s sort of my last release. I’m 30, I’m married, I’ve grown up — some. I still have that same sense of humor, but I don’t indulge it as often. There was a point in time when I would troll web sites. Like there’s this site, ApartmentRatings.com, and I would review apartments by saying things so outlandish, so over the top, that nobody would ever believe it. I wasn’t trying to stop anyone from living in a particular apartment, but it was just fun to say, “There’s a prostitution operation being run out of this apartment” or whatever, and I took great amusement in going back and seeing if someone had responded to it. So yeah, I’ve done it, but I’ve had to curtail it somewhat as I’ve become a quote-unquote adult.

Some Days, You’re Just Glad Tebow Slept Late

Posted in Sports TV, Total Fucking Terror at 10:11 am by

screen shot taken from John Feitelberg

04.18.13

2013 : The Year Complaining About Music Blogs & Beards Broke

Posted in Blogged Down, Rock Und Roll at 11:47 pm by

(above : the bright hardcore hopes of 1995 — every bit as crucial in their day as the Lumineers are in theirs)

Earlier today, no small number of persons gleefully linked to an essay by Your Music Is Awful’s Kitty Vincent, the provocatively titled, “Hey Kids, Grow a Pair : How Music Blogs Neutered Indie Rock”.  The overwhelming majority of them — some of whom, I hope for their own sakes, didn’t actually read the piece from start to finish — gave an enthusiastic virtual thumbs-up to Vincent’s sentiments (“when did all the skinny jeaned, fedora clad 20 somethings of the world decide to get together and completely fucking neuter music? It’s like a whole movement of eunuchs out there walking around with synths and  tambourines.”)

Vincent seems to be of the opinion The Lumineers are a colossal pile of suck and you’ll get no argument from me.  But that aside, there’s more holes in Vincent’s analysis than the M.E. found in Joey Gallo’s corpse.   For starters, the entire foundation is flimsy ; you don’t need a medical degree to know that kids cannot grow a pair.  Equally specious is the notion that only recently did “indie rock” (a non-existent genre to begin with) experience neutering.

I’m not sure what to make of any music writer viewing rock’n'roll solely thru the criteria of whether or not it’s got balls.  I mean, that’s all a little Buffalo Wild Wings for my tastes. There’s no shortage of amazing art that’s been made by the ball-less.  I’d hope the lack of brains in contemporary music would be a bigger issue than the lack of balls, but everyone’s entitled to their own fixations.

Vincent considers the rise of fey-core (WARNING : I am trademarking this tomorrow morning) to be the handiwork of  “the elite establishment” (ie.  “Pitchfork or Stereogum”) and unidentified lemming blogs who take their tip from said websites.  Unmentioned, however, is how the influence of these alleged tastemakers is any more or less pervasive than the agenda of traditional media outlets in say, 1991.

There is a reason why bands like Nirvana took over the world in 1991 and why the new generation hasn’t been able to recreate that energy

Differences in taste aside, crediting Nirvana with “taking over the world” is slightly less ridiculous than saying they made the world safe for Candlebox (and if I haven’t said so already, thanks for that). This alleged overthrow of the cultural status quo, of course happened at least partially via the auspices of noted DIY record label Geffen, and a medium long known to be impervious to blatant or subtle payola, U.S. commercial rock radio.

Seriously, if Nirvana represents some sort of personal musical and-or growing up landmark for you, I don’t begrudge you that one iota. But at some point, give it a fucking rest already. The Schaefer Beer jingle was a big part of my childhood, but you don’t catch me blogging about how it was better than Pentagram. And if you wanna stick to the oft-repeated line that “everything changed post-Nirvana”, yes, you’re right.  Billy Ray Cyrus sold nearly 5 million albums in 1992.  Hootie & The Blowfish more than 7 million in 1995.  Please tell me again how pop culture became so much more vibrant.

I don’t think any original band worth a hoot in 2013 should feel pressure to be judged thru the prism of Nirvana, the year-punk-broke or whatever. But since Vincent accuses the contemporary crop of being unable to match the “energy” level of Kurt & Ko., where does that leave Destruction Unit, Wiccans, Lamps, Unholy Two or Hoax? In what way are they unrepresentative of 2013 or unable to match the hi-octane output of a band that mimicked Boston?

Vincent’s conclusion, I am very sorry to say, might be the dumbest piece of music journalism I’ve read this year. And keep in mind, I’ve read a lot of Luke Winkie’s stuff recently.

In 1992, when Donita Sparks of L7 pulled out her tampon and threw it at the crowd at the Reading Festival, she didn’t do it to create a YouTube sensation or to make a Pitchfork top 10 list. She did it in a moment of genuine defiance and frustration at a crowd flinging mud onstage. She knew what was between her legs and she wasn’t afraid to use it. And by that, I don’t mean a bloody tampon; I mean a serious pair of balls. She had more balls than the members of Fleet Foxes can ever hope to have. And that kids, is what rock and roll is all about.

Look, I know some of you would like to get back to circulating links to articles you’ve either not read or can’t really comprehend, so I’ll make it quick.

a) the only L-Seven anyone ought to concern themselves with is the late Larissa Strickland’s band. The L7 that Vincent lionizes totally sucked.

b) creating “a YouTube sensation” or aspiring to “a Pitchfork Top 10 list” is no more or less shallow than a band in 1992 setting their sights on an NME mention or a piece on MTV news. There’s some fantasy here that bands in the 90′s didn’t have to contend and/or play ball with their own set of elite gatekeepers (certainly there’s a long list of refusniks, but L7 and Nirvana weren’t amongst them).

c) again with the eunuch business. Fleet Foxes being kinda snoozy, is well, unfortunate, but has little to with what they are or aren’t packing. It’s beyond simplistic to declare that real rock’n'roll is all about grand gestures like tampon-flinging — in 20 years can we look forward to someone calling Billie Joe Armstrong’s fit of pique at a Clear Channel smoochfest a similar defining moment? If a band was really any sort of viable threat, odds are pretty strong they’d not get into the Reading Festival without a ticket.

OK, that wasn’t so quick.

Vincent is not without constructive advice (“lets go back to doing what we used to do..hanging out at record stores, going to shows, talking to actual people about what they’re listening to”), though keep in mind, said words of wisdom were circulated using the same technology as a Pitchfork review. It’s laughably naive to paint the halcyon days of record store hangouts and attending gigs (two pastimes which are pretty robust in 2013 if you know where to look) as though they were immune from the influence of market forces every bit as established and tough-to-crack as Stereogum’s editorial panel. How did Nirvana records get into record stores in 1991? How did L7 manage to play major festivals in 1992? If you believe the answer to either of these questions is simply “word of mouth” or “merit”, congrats on your warped sense of nostalgia.

Again, if you simply prefer the music of the early ’90′s, or more likely, that just happens to be the period in which you had a moment self of discovery (musical and otherwise) before real world circumstances beat it out of you, no problem. But blogs in general (or Pitchfork in particular) are a pretty convenient boogeyman compared to the public’s rotten taste and/or lazy music fans who’ve just fucking given up.

A Casual Suggestion That Perhaps Michael Beasley Doesn’t Mind Being Punked

Posted in Basketball at 7:10 pm by

The 2012-13 Phoenix Suns finished at the bottom of the Western Conference with a 25-57 mark, prompting an frank exit interview on the part of C Marcin Gorat. Speaking with Pro Basketball Talk’s Brett Pollakoff, Gorat describes his young club as, “a lot of young guys who just think they’re better than they really are.”

“I would say we are missing character,” he said. “We are missing just strong minds on the team. We are just weak, mentally weak, basically. I would say that we just need more talent. We need more talent, we need more athletic, energetic guys, and people that want to compete and fight. That’s it.

“But like I said, that’s a decision to make by the people in the front office. I’m just going to look at myself and try to correct my mistakes and try to be better next year.”

Gortat was pressed on the character issue, and essentially said that there was a segment of the team that didn’t seem to care whether they won or lost.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about the player,” he said. “If you don’t feel that you’ve got to work, if you feel comfortable that somebody’s coming into your house and punking your ass by 30 points every night, it’s not right. It’s just not right. I’ve been in the league six years now and I’ve never been in a situation like that.”

Bryce Harper – Embracing Local History In A Way No One Would’ve Predicted (Or Recommended)

Posted in Baseball, record collector disease at 2:19 pm by

“I threw up four times in the trash can,” Harper appeared to say (he talked so low it was hard to hear). He did confirm later he threw up, though he used the word “hacked” the second time.

Harper, who missed the game on Tuesday due to his flu and took a pregame IV to help hydrate, was so ill that he stayed away from teammates on the bench and said his main goal when he went to the plate was not to vomit on the field.

He actually did quite nicely at bat, mixing in a double among his four at-bats and raising his average to .364. Harper, who’s now 5 for 6 with two home runs against Marlins righthander Ricky Nolasco this year, said he felt he had to play. “I didn’t feel very good at all,” he said, “but my team needs me.”

- Jon Heyman, CBS Sports

Your move, Jackie Bradley Jr.

04.17.13

Super Joe McEwing’s Long Quest For The Hall Of Fame Is Finally Over

Posted in Baseball at 6:59 pm by

OK,  The Irish American Baseball Hall Of Fame.   The press release below comes from PR Web, link taken from Hardball Talk :

The Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame (IAB HOF) today announced its 2013 inductees: popular former Mets Rusty Staub and Joe McEwing; longtime owner of the LA Dodgers Peter O’Malley; Hall of Fame baseball writer Bill Madden of the New York Daily News; and award-winning columnist for the Boston Globe Dan Shaughnessy.

“We are proud to induct the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2013 for their contributions to the game,” said Shaun Clancy, president of the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame and owner of Foley’s, which features one of the country’s most extensive public displays of baseball memorabilia. “The 2013 inductees include two of America’s best known sports writers in Bill Madden and Dan Shaughnessy and the longtime owner of one of baseball’s iconic franchises in Peter O’Malley. We are also proud to honor two of the most popular players in Mets history: Rusty Staub, a main cog in the 1973 NL Championship season, and “Super Joe” McEwing, a tough and versatile competitor for the 2000 World Series team.”

Move Over, Luke Scott – Jonathan Papelbon Has Something To Say About Guns & Obama

Posted in Baseball, Firearms at 2:56 pm by

I wouldn’t be so quick to say there’s a wrong way for a person to express their grief and concern over Monday’s events in Boston, but former Red Sox / current Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon seems to suggest a world-gone-mad is sufficient reason for citizens to be armed. If nothing else, this begs a number of followup questions ;

a) how many guns does Papelbon have, anyway?
b) does he bring one or more to the ballpark?
c) which of his current or former teammates does he suspect would flunk a background check?
d) when will Papelbon and Steve Carlton team up for a podcast?

Cablevision Boss Covers The Boss – A Further Nail In The Respective Coffins Of Rock, Blues, Music Video & All Forms Of Communication

Posted in Basketball, Hockey, Rock Und Roll at 2:11 pm by

Though the Knicks securing the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference might’ve been enough to take James Dolan off the CSTB shitlist, if only for a short while, Dolan has incredibly managed to usurp Joey Welz’ no-doubt-forthcoming Boston Marathon song with the above cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac”.

Of course, this is not the first time Dolan has leaned on The Bard Of Colts Neck, NJ for material.

04.16.13

Barra : What’s Up WIth The New York Daily News’ Hard On For A-Rod?

Posted in Baseball, Medical Science, Sports Journalism at 8:46 pm by

Earlier this week, the New York Times’ Michael S. Schmidt reported Major League Baseball cut a check for documents from Miami wellness center Biogenesis that would implicate a number of players in what Miami New Times has suggested are rather obvious purchases of performance enhancing drugs. Though I took Schmidt’s claim that Alex Rodriguez  (above, left) had designs on the very same documents as some hint of a bidding war, the Village Voice’s Allan Barra finds all of this a little, well, sleazy (“what kind of ‘businessman’ works as an intermediary between the investigative unit and the players under investigation by that unit? The only kind of businessmen I know who would do that are the kind of guys who are usually known by police by other kinds of names”). (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

Here’s one juicy scenario, suggested, of course, by the Daily News, about what might happen: “Rumors have spread through the league and its players that A-Rod possesses a list of names and documents that he has either leaked to the media to deflect attention to himself or destroyed them before anyone can see them.”

According to the source, Rodriguez “also knows all the players who are on the list.” Are we talking possible extortion here, or maybe A-Rod figuring that if he goes down, he’s going to take everyone else with him? The possibilities are fascinating.

I checked with my own source about those rumors and sources, and he told me that those rumors and sources all started with the Daily News.

Rick Carlise – Just Checking To Make Sure OJ Mayo Knows The Season Lasts 82 Games

Posted in Basketball at 6:38 pm by

When asked if OJ Mayo’s indifferent performances of late were a source of frustration, Dallas head coach Rick Carlise replied, “Well, the good news is there’s only an opportunity for one more.” And if that’s not an open invite for the 5th year shooting guard to opt out of his 2-year deal this summer, check out Carlise’s other remarks, as captured last night by the Dallas Morning News’ Brad Townsend :


After the Mavericks’ 103-97 loss to Memphis at American Airlines Center, Carlisle noted that “some guys didn’t show, literally.” Then he quickly zeroed in on Mayo.

Playing against a Memphis team that allowed him to leave in free agency last summer, Mayo contributed twice as many turnovers (four) as points while shooting 1-of-6 in 28 listless minutes of court time.

“He wasn’t into it the first half,” Carlisle said. “We showed him some film at halftime where he was virtually just standing around defensively. We said, ‘Hey, we need you,’ tried to get him going a little bit.

“He just had a bad night; I guess I will write it off to that. But I will tell you what, if I was playing against my former team, I’d come out ready to go at them. But that’s just me.”


Mayo hurriedly dressed and left the locker room before reporters were allowed in, exiting out a back door.

History’s Most Confusing eBay Auctions, Pt. XVIII

Posted in The Marketplace, Total Fucking Terror at 11:35 am by

…though perhaps “desperate” or “pathetic” would be a better adjective in this case than “confusing”. I realize there’s some folks who want to keep print media alive, but this probably isn’t what they have in mind.

04.15.13

One Man’s Lonesome Argument That Hawk Harrelson Isn’t A Plague On Broadcasting, Conversation

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Sports TV at 10:32 pm by

Perhaps there’s someone out there — members of their families?  their agents? — who enjoys the baseball play-by-play announcing of Joe Buck or John Sterling.  Prior to this moment, I’d not have made a similar guess regarding White Sox mouthpiece / umpire-baiter Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, but he’s apparently got a big friend in Chicago Side’s Jeff Polman, who declares, “when I have a ballgame on at home, there are only two announcers that entertain me every time: Vin Scully and Harrelson.” (link taken from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

Like literature, music, film, and art, baseball broadcasting is a matter of personal taste. This goes for the broadcaster’s voice, style, and level of class, but also for whether or not he/she satisfies the listener’s needs. Mine are simple and decidedly old school. If given no other choice I’ll listen to practically anybody, but to make me happy I ask for: 1.) A broadcaster who is engaged in every pitch, and 2.) A broadcaster with a voice that allows me to kick back with a cold one on a hot night and sink into the rhythm of the game.

Homerism? Shmomerism. WGN may be nationally syndicated, but there’s nothing in the rules that says a broadcaster for a local team needs to be objective. I’ve heard White Sox radio guy Ed Farmer (only occasionally, because I don’t care for his delivery), who is also a shameless homer. Harry Caray was a complete homer yet was totally beloved. Jack Brickhouse was even less objective than Harry and would yell like a banshee whenever a Cub went yard. So Hawk jokingly refers to the players on his field as “good guys” and “bad guys”, gets morose when the other team scores and this is somehow unforgivable? I don’t get it.

I want something different from a TV broadcaster. I want a good tour guide to entertain and educate me while I sit back and relax and enjoy the action.

Megdal : Mooted Stanton Swap A Blatant No-Brainer

Posted in Baseball at 6:42 pm by

With the Mets enduring their first consecutive postponements since August of 2011, we can turn our attentions to Miami’s  Giancarlo Stanton (above) and whether or not he’ll become the latest Marlins star to be offered up in Jeffrey Loria’s ongoing firesale.  While Sandy Alderson denies there have been any real discussions of pursuing Stanton,  The Journal News’ Howard Megadal reminds us the 22-year-old outfielder is in very rare company — the only players whose OPS topped Stanton’s (158) at the same age were  Stan Musial, Boog Powell, Eddie Mathews, Eddie Collins, Tris Speaker, Sherry Magee, Jimmy Sheckard, Joe DiMaggio, Bernie Carbo, Pete Rieser, Dick Allen, Jimmy Foxx, and a couple of guys named Ted Williams and Ty Cobb.

Yes, you trade two prospects, even two great ones, for that guy. And you worry about building around him. Stanton by himself won’t lead the Mets to contention. Neither would Zack Wheeler and Travis d’Arnaud, even if they max out, by themselves. Build around Stanton, David Wright and Matt Harvey. In Stanton, the Mets would have one more sure thing, and one who is just 23 years old.

This is not a difficult question. And the Marlins might get more from another team, one who can match Wheeler/d’Arnaud at the top of a deal, and fill in with more talent that is closer to major league ready than the rest of the Mets farm system currently is. So sure, the Mets would do this. And who knows, maybe the Marlins would, too.

The Mets have plenty of difficult questions, such as who the fourth starter is, or the right fielder, or how much longer to give LaTroy Hawkins. Whether they’d trade virtually anyone for Stanton isn’t one of these worries. So don’t spend too much time worrying about whether the Mets should. The Mets certainly aren’t

Alex Jones’ Move Toward The Mainstream Of American Punditry, Delayed For At Least One More Day

Posted in Total Fucking Terror, twitter twatter at 2:51 pm by

Keep in mind, similar tin foil hat sentiments have a home on publicly traded Sirius/XM’s Mad Dog Radio, where Aurora gunman James Holmes was touted as a “false flag” by one prominent midweek host.

04.14.13

Carlos Quentin – The Victim Of The 2nd Most Egregious Case Of Baseball-Related Wiki Vandalism Ever Documented

Posted in Baseball, The Internet at 11:20 pm by

As Jeff Brantley might say, what’s the big deal?

Snakes Owner Kendrick’s Triviality Is In Midseason Form

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression at 4:26 pm by

The current’s Dodgers/Diamondbacks series was promoted by the hosts as “Beat LA Weekend”, a marketing scheme that if nothing else, seems to ignore the Giants’ status as defending champs.  Arizona’s won a World Series far more recently than L.A., but it’s doubtful you’ll be hearing about a “Beat The D-Backs” promotion at Chavez Ravine anytime in the near future.

Perhaps with this manufactured rivalry in mind, last night Arizona owner Ken Kendrick (above, third from left)  demanded that a group of Dodgers fans decked out in their club’s gear change their clothing or face ejection from a suite behind home plate at Chase Field.  From The Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro :

The fans agreed, changing into Diamondbacks merchandise provided by the team, Diamondbacks spokesman Josh Rawitch said, adding that the fans would have been refunded had they chose to be relocated.

Rawitch said that because of the high visibility of the seats, the team has a policy forbidding fans from wearing opposing team’s gear before they purchase the suite, which ranges in price from $3,250 to $3,500 depending on the night.

“We don’t tell them they can’t cheer for the other team,” Rawitch said. “We just ask them to adhere to the policy that we give them when we sell them the tickets.”

Though the stadium was publicly funded, the Diamondbacks say they have the right to dictate what fans do and do not wear, just as teams can determine whether fans are allowed to bring signage into stadiums.

“It sounds kind of small-minded, but I would think they probably have the legal right to do that, especially if they let people know in advance that that’s the rule,” said Paul Bender, a professor of law at Arizona State.

“I hate to say that. I don’t like them doing that. And it’s conceivable if it’s treated as a city, state or county stadium that the rule would be different. But with what kind of clothes people wear, usually people who run the stadium are thought to have the right do that as long as they say in advance that those are the rules.”

We The People (Playing Percussion With Industrial Materials)

Posted in Professional Wrestling, record collector disease at 3:18 pm by

Z’ev Colter. (photoshoppery by John Foster)