07.31.13

Eagles WR Goes To Unusual Lengths To Take The Heat Off A-Rod, Anthony Weiner

Posted in Gridiron, Racism Corner at 8:11 pm by

I hope the sickening rhetoric of Riley Cooper has for once and all demonstrated that Kenny Chesney concerts are hotbeds of hateful, anti-social behavior.

Dallas Braden Vs. The Welfare Leeches

Posted in Baseball, twitter twatter at 4:26 pm by

Free agent P Dallas Braden — he of the 2010 perfect game and subsequent bat-wielding incident in a Stockton, CA park, took to Twitter earlier today with the following question :

Replied Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra, “pretty big talk for a guy who took nearly $7 million from the Athletics for a grand total of three starts between 2011 and 2012.”   Also, no word yet from Braden if he’d advocate drug testing for the CEO’s of Citi, Goldman Sachs or Bank of America.

The ESPY’s Aren’t Merely An Annual Unfunny Suckfest….

Posted in Sports Journalism, Sports TV, The World Of Entertainment at 3:29 pm by

…but they’re undermining serious journalism, too.  At least that’s the reasoning of newly ensconced ESPN ombudsman Robert Lipsyte, who likens the network’s comedic “This Is SportsCenter” commercials to “Brian Williams and Secretary of State John Kerry in the NBC copy room, scanning each other’s butts.”

Seeing athletes in different clothes and without their game faces is a pleasure of the watching the ESPYS. I particularly enjoyed watching Christian Ponder, the Vikings’ quarterback — ESPN’s Ron Jaworski has him rated No. 27 of 32 in his NFL QB rankings — apparently auditioning for his next career as a broadcast jock. Supported by the former Samantha Steele, an ESPN reporter and now also his wife, Ponder interviewed the amiable likes of Houston defensive end J.J. Watt (by throwing little footballs over his head). Ponder is actor-cute in that indie-film- and-TV mumblecore way. If he doesn’t make Jaws’ top 20 this season, he should scramble for a role on a cop show.

I also enjoyed watching athletes in the audience guffawing, often a beat late, at dumb — and sometimes mean — jokes by host Jon Hamm, often at Dwight Howard’s expense. The message here is that it’s all entertainment, folks, as sports should be, whether Adrian Peterson is running long on his acceptance speech, or just running long.

But the ESPYS offer another message, much like the annual White House Correspondents’ dinner: We’re all in this together. It’s fine for news executives, columnists and anchors to party with politicians and lobbyists, to get to know them as human beings, just as it is fine for ESPN executives, columnists and anchors, to party with athletes (and maybe not to feel like green ants.)

The concern, though, is that viewers might be getting the idea that they are the rubes at these circuses, that the jocks and the pols who show up can expect, in return, access and favors from the media.

If Weiland Has Friends Like The Huffington Post, Who Needs CSTB?

Posted in Baseball, non-sporting journalism, Rock Und Roll at 1:02 pm by

(Weiland, possible last minute entry for the NYC mayoral Democratic primary)

Over the years, I’ve certainly had any number of unkind things to say about former Stone Temple Pilots vocalist/occasional sports blogger Scott Weiland. But I’ve never been nearly so cruel as to to compare Weiland to someone nearly as universally despised as Ryan Braun, an analogy the Huffington Post’s Tom Semioli seems to think is entirely appropriate (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)


Fortunately for Weiland, his chosen entertainment profession is that of a rock star, so he continues to ply his craft and earn money, even after he was fired from his regular gigs. The supposedly “Stoned” Temple Pilot and Velvet Revolver crooner is currently on a summer tour singing his former band’s iconic 1990s anthems with a new ensemble. Ryan Braun is professionally inactive: he cannot ply his craft nor earn money.

Most American rock fans don’t take offense when their favorite rock entertainers use drugs. Baseball fans purchased product in record numbers during the “steroid era” of baseball entertainment. And when steroid use shortens the careers of certain baseball entertainers — new baseball entertainers, some of whom use drugs, take their place. Same deal with rock stars: when one dies or a career fades, another band comes along with songs and stories often fueled by drug experiences. The games and the gigs continue to thrive. And so do the drugs.

In America, that’s entertainment!

Note: Scott Weiland’s latest dismissal from STP has not been officially attributed to drug use.

Though I’m a little embarrassed to be taking the bait…here goes! Braun is accused of taking drugs that enhanced his performances. Conversely, Weiland is widely presumed to have consumed drugs that hampered his ability to perform his professional duties for one reason or another. And Braun is temporarily inactive — his contract has not been voided, and if he’s able to produce in the future at anything close to the numbers he’s alleged to have compiled under the influence of PED’s, he’ll continue to earn a decent living.

But at least Semioli didn’t compare Weiland to this guy.

07.30.13

Ken Harrelson And TWTM AKA “The WIll To Mute”

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 7:40 pm by

White Sox play-by-play voice Ken Harrelson was profiled in Tuesday’s New York Times by Ben Strauss, with the Hawk’s tendency to sneer at sabermetrics  (“an approach that could alternately be described as endearing or absurd”) being the focal point of the article. While Strauss calls Harrelson’s pronouncements, “Internet catnip”, even a defender like Bob Costas admits, “he’s not Vin Scully or Ernie Harwell”.

Harrelson maintains that he does, in fact, like numbers and that sabermetrics does have a valued place in baseball, but that he would prefer it be a role much more limited that it is now and that too much deference is being paid in general to numbers crunching. He called its rise over the last decade “the biggest joke I’ve ever seen.”

“Look down there at a guy like Gordon Beckham,” he said, peering down at the White Sox’ second baseman. “If you got someone who gets a chance to take him out on a double play — like me — I’m not going to take him out, I’m going to take him out into left field.

“So if the shortstop bobbles the ball, and I have a chance to get him, he knows that. Gordon will get busted and he’ll take the hit. There’s no number to define that in a player.”

“If I’m listening to the White Sox play the Indians, I’m listening for Hawk to tell a great story about Charlie Finley,” said Costas, who narrated an MLB Network documentary about Harrelson. “Or the time he was sitting with Mickey Mantle at an L.A. hotel and Marlon Brando walks in.

“If a guy doesn’t know what WAR is but he’s got good baseball war stories, I’ll take the trade-off.”

Ain’t No God In Their Squad – St. Paul’s Highly Creative Indie League Team

Posted in Baseball at 3:38 pm by

Though the American Association’s St. Paul Saints – whose ownership group includes “Disco Demolition” night pioneer Mike Veeck and occasional thespian Bill Murray – are no stranger to unusual promotions (eg. 2008′s Sen. Larry Craig Bobblefoot), August 9th’s event is in somewhat stark contrast to the Faith Nights presented at minor and major league parks around the country. As City Pages’ Aaron Rupar explains, on Saturday, August 9 when hosting the Sioux City Explorers, the Saints will tell religion to take a hike.

That night’s game at Midway Stadium is sponsored by the Minnesota Atheists, so the Saints will drop the “S” from their jerseys and signs around Midway Stadium, thereby becoming the St. Paul Aints.

The players’ jerseys will later be auctioned, with some of the proceeds going to the Family Place Shelter in St. Paul, a local shelter where Minnesota Atheists volunteers prepare monthly dinners for families in need. So you see, they’re not all Godless jerks.

The next day, the Minnesota Atheists are hosting an American Atheists regional conference at the Ramada Plaza in Minneapolis.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for atheists to share our light-hearted, friendly nature,” Eric Jayne, president of Minnesota Atheists, said in a press release. “As a baseball fan and a local atheist leader, I am excited to partner with the St. Paul Saints in our efforts to increase atheist camaraderie and dispel negative stereotypes about atheists in the public eye.”

Revealed : El Presidente’s Influence On A Young Guillermo Mota

Posted in Baseball, History's Not Happening at 3:16 pm by

….or Carmelo Anthony. via Buster Olney, here’s a clip of the late George Scott being beaned by Dennis Martinez.  Though I fondly recall both players’ contributions to the game, I must confess, I didn’t remember Martinez being nearly that fast getting off the mound.

07.29.13

CSTB’s Greatest (?) Hits : If That Toilet Could Talk (RIP Manhattan Bar Often Populated By Trendy People You’d Fucking Hate)

Posted in History's Not Happening, New York, New York at 7:14 pm by

(Endless Boogie, Max Fish, October 2010)

(EDITOR’S NOTE : Max Fish, Max Fish, the place so nice they made plans to close it twice.  This time, however, it’s for real, and in advance of tonight’s finale for an East Village holdout that’s just about done holding out, here’s a 2010 eulogy that fulfills the all-important criteria of helping me avoid writing a new one. – GC)

It was reported earlier this week that Ludlow Street’s venerable Max Fish was closing at the end of January, as owner Uli Rimkus was facing rather excessive demands for a rent increase somewhat reflective of the neighborhood’s currently glitzy status. Full disclosure time : I briefly rented a small apartment from Rimkus situated on the 2nd floor above the bar….and not-so-briefly did extensive damage to my brain cells and liver on the ground floor during the early 1990′s.

People often complain about Max Fish paying host to hordes of tourists, rich kids, bridge & tunnel types, lame scenesters, etc….and the same complaints were voiced, repeatedly, in 1992, too. I’ve not spent enough time there recently (occasional visits aside) to comment w/ authority about contemporary Max Fish, but for a longish stretch,the bar was an epicenter for much of the L.E.S.’ arts/alcoholism scene. Quality humans worked there, and much of the clientele was a-ok, too. If you could stand a noise rock version of “Cheers” (the likes of Michael Duane, Harry Druzd and Carlo McCormack had far more wisdom to impart than George Wendt), it was an ok place to squander a paycheck. Many friendships were made by the Fish pinball machines, jukebox, or, uh, unisex bathrooms. Nearly as many friendships ended, too. I’ll never forget the retarded 3am arguments over slights real or imagined, the ridiculous characters from the block (or around the world) that would stagger thru in the days long before anyone knew or cared who the Strokes were. Though Max Fish’s patrons certainly knew who Bob Dylan was the December night he stood in the doorway for what seemed like an eternity before opting for another bar. And while Max Fish wasn’t a music venue per se (the adjoining Pink Pony did, however, host performances for a while), there were a few semi-historic exceptions to the rule, including a monumentally loud Bailter Space show and a Workdogs w/ Jon Spencer performance in 1999 that featured the unlikely visage of Genesis P. Orridge making like Bob Colby several feet away from the band.

Nostalgia sucks, as do old fuckers telling you things were cooler or smarter back in the old days. They weren’t. That said, back in the pre Todd P.-era, Ludlow St. was very much the HQ for an undefined, very loud music/social scene, and Rimkus and her colleagues deserve much credit for their hospitality and lending some sense of community, however loose, to a rather chaotic period.

SB Nation’s David Roth Suggests That Perhaps Just This Once, Isiah Thomas Not Be Permitted To Land On His Feet

Posted in Basketball at 5:38 pm by

The expression, “inexplicably employed” is not one I’ve used on many prior occasions.  I’ve not used it in relation to Dino Costa, David Samson, Luke Winkie, Darren Heitner or Anton Newcombe, even if the thought has crossed my mind a few times.  But with all due respect for the myriad atrocities committed by the roster above, none of them would seem to bring nearly the same anti-Midas touch to the workplace as former Knicks President Isiah Thomas.

Thomas’ slow-motion crash in New York nearly overshadowed his exceptional playing career, though luckily for Zeke, relatively few observers paid much attention to his subsequent struggles at Florida International University.  That the allegedly charming Thomas is ever under consideration for new gigs (some of which he’s actually hired for) is hard to fathom, or as former CSTB contributor David Roth puts it, “if it makes a certain amount of sense for the NBPA to seek the opinion of a Hall of Famer with a long history in NBA front offices, it makes notably less when that person is Isiah Thomas.”  From Roth and SB Nation :

This is a man who, if hired to run a Panera, would be serving wet loaves of bread stuffed with sticks and lit firecrackers within weeks, and charging $11.99 for them. The dining room would be overrun by hostile weasels within hours of opening, and he would give a smiling press conference claiming that the weasels were phase one in some “big changes we’re really excited about.” It would be amusing until someone would get hurt, and someone usually does when he’s involved.

We must presume that the people making decisions for the NBPA know all this, and so can probably assume that Thomas is a long-shot for this gig. There are still people in the NBA who worked for Isiah Thomas, survivors to tell the tale. There is the fresh memory of what he’s like, and what happens to things he runs; anyone can Google “Isiah Thomas Anucha Browne Sanders” and read what pops up. It took Thomas less than three years to utterly destroy the Continental Basketball Association; he ran Madison Square Garden’s executive offices as a grope-y gulag, all paranoia and flubbiness and denial. It’s a matter of record, and it should be enough.

Puig’s Latest Contribution To The 2013 MLB Season : Reminding Us That Greg Swindell Is Still Alive

Posted in Baseball at 4:21 pm by

Having compiled a 123-122 record in 17 years of oft-traveled big league pitching, Greg Swindell is eminently qualified to criticize Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig. Trouble is, he’s been doing so for a few weeks now.  Shortly after Puig dispensed of the Reds with an 11th inning, game-winning HR and subsequent slide into home plate at Chavez Ravine, Swindell took to Twitter with the following :

I’m gonna assume that Cincinnati reliever Curtis Partch has totally earned his stripes, given that he wasn’t even standing on the mound to witness Puig’s egregious violation of baseball etiquette. Not only does Puig need to worry about offending journeyman pitchers who don’t pay his salary or work for his organization, he’ll have to demonstrate greater sensitivity towards mop up guys who are already in the parking lot by the time the ball lands.

A Sad Farewell To A Pair Of Comerica Park Fixtures

Posted in Baseball at 3:36 pm by

A pair of middle-aged men were killed in a hit and run accident early Saturday morning in Detroit, and while that’s not ordinarily the sort of thing that would receive notice in the sporting sphere, the Detroit Free Press’ Lori Higgins reports both victims were quite familiar to Tigers fans in recent years.

People on social media and elsewhere have said one of the men was James Van Horn, known for standing outside Comerica Park — his hand inside a large green Hulk hand that held a cup people could drop money in — and repeatedly calling out his famous “Eat ‘Em Up, Tigers” catchphrase.

The other man identified only as Michael also was frequently seen at Comerica and other sites in the downtown area. He was known as Dreadlock Mike for his distinctive locks and could be seen navigating the streets in his wheelchair.

The company Down with Detroit is now selling T-shirts and other items, emblazoned with the words “Eat ‘Em Up Forever” and “Rest In Peace James and Mike.” The company is donating all proceeds to pay for burial or give to charity, according to its Facebook page.

“You get used to seeing these guys,” said Patrick Duggan, who runs Down with Detroit with business partner Matt Zebari. By around 10 p.m. Sunday, they had raised a little more than $5,000.

Another Facebook page, Find the Hit and Run Killers of Detroit Icons, had amassed more than 15,000 likes Sunday night since it was created around 6 a.m. Saturday.

07.28.13

There’s Plenty Of Crying In Baseball (If You’re Trying To Get Tino Martinez Fired)

Posted in Baseball at 10:16 pm by

If nothing else, the following story suggests that Mike Rice might want to consider a transition to a sport besides professional baseball. Somewhat overshadowing the pitching performance of Jose Fernandez versus Pittsburgh earlier today were a series of accusations leveled at Marlins hitting coach Tino Martinez, charged with verbally abusing his young charges. Following the 3-2 defeat of the Pirates, Martinez’ resignation was covered by the Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer :

Martinez acknowledged that he grabbed rookie second baseman Derek Dietrich by the front of his jersey in early May and “overreacted” and “probably” swore with others in trying to be firm with some of the Marlins’ younger players.

“I want to apologize to the Marlins organization for my behavior,” said Martinez, 45. “I think I was frustrated at times, the way players were behaving and certain ways they were doing things. When I asked them to do something and they wouldn’t do it, whatever it may be, I thought the way to get through was by being firm with them, and I probably used some four-letter words.”

“The only thing I’ve done is, I did grab Dietrich — we had a little thing in the [batting] cage one day — by the jersey,” Martinez said. “That was it. I never touched his neck. I never grabbed his neck. If anything else, [I want] his parents to know that because I have a 20-year-old son and I would be very upset if someone grabbed my son’s neck. That never happened.”

Sources, though, said Martinez — who was owner Jeffrey Loria’s personal pick to take over as hitting coach — displayed a pattern of abusive behavior from the start of spring training and made numerous threats.

“It’s all shocked everybody,” said one player, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution. “He uses intimidation. It’s been a problem since Day One.”

 

At the time of Martinez’ departure, the Marlins were dead last in the NL in runs scored (325 in 102 games) and ranked 15th in team batting average (.233) and OPS (.629).

Papelbon Shifts From Lecturing Teammates To Breathing Down Ruben Amaro’s Neck

Posted in Baseball at 10:01 pm by


The Phillies have lost 8 straight and they’re only a game and a half ahead of the not-quite fearsome NY Mets in the battle for 3rd place in the NL East. “I definitely didn’t come here for this,” moaned reliever Jonathan Papelbon to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, though unlike his last public outburst, the subject of the former Boston closer’s umbrage this time wasn’t fundamentals.


Asked what he thought about the direction the organization is headed, he sighed.

“Oh, man,” he said. “We could be here all day.”

So then what about this team’s ability to turn things around, if not this season, then next season?

“It’s going to take, in my opinion, a lot,” he said. “And in my opinion, I think it’s going to have to be something very similar to what the Red Sox went through a couple years ago. From top to bottom.”

“That’s part of it,” he said about Boston’s decision not to bring him back. “That’s part of the business. If you want to go in a different direction and I’m not a piece of that puzzle, so be it. This is a job. There are no feelings in this game. I left. Carl [Crawford] left. [Josh] Beckett left. Adrian [Gonzalez] left. Now look at them.”

Asked after the game if he wants to be traded, Papelbon said, “No, I would like to stay here. But if I’m going to have to put up with this year after year, then no, I don’t want to be here. Why would you? Why would anybody?”

In Defense Of Johnny Pariah

Posted in Austin, College Spurts, Gridiron at 3:04 pm by

It seems reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel has generated negative publicity yet again this off-season after allegedly being kicked out of a frat party on the campus of the rival University Of Texas.   While some slow-witted types find Manziel’s behavior worthy of public censure, I’d like to remind everyone that at least he’s not been accused of sexual assault on the eve of a bowl game.  But in fairness, let’s recap the A&M QB’s most recent offenses :

1)  He dissed the Mannings by getting drunk, oversleeping, etc.

Yeah?  Well, fuck the Mannings.

2) It’s a little weird how he’d prefer to spend leisure time in Austin than College Station.

All this means is that Manziel has actually spent time in both towns.  There’s very few people with an informed opinion who wouldn’t feel the same way.

3) He made a fool of himself being ejected from a party on West Campus.

BADGE OF HONOR.  Seriously, the only thing lamer than spending the weekend at Manning Camp is being welcomed with open arms at a fucking UT frat party.

07.27.13

The New York Times Fails To Answer The Quesiton, “Which Cap Will Dr. Frank Jobe Wear On His Hall Of Fame Plaque?”

Posted in Baseball, Medical Science at 6:46 pm by

(hey, if you think this picture is gross, you should see the one from Kenny Rogers’ unsuccessful heart transplant operation)

Sunday’s induction cermonies at the National Baseball Hall Of Fame and Museum will include no new living honorees for the first time since 1965, a circumstance some find terribly sad.  There’s an exception, of sorts, however as Dr. Frank Jobe, the elbow surgeon who pioneered what’s commonly referred to as Elton Tommy John Surgery  was recognized by the Hall in a special ceremony earlier today.  The New York Times’ Dave Anderson argues the first beneficiary of Jobe’s innovative work, hurler Tommy John, “should have (accomplished) enough to punch his ticket to election by either the Baseball Writers’ Association of America or the Hall’s veterans committee, but the significance of his namesake surgery has been ignored.”

After risking his career in what then was an experimental surgery and establishing a rehabilitation plan basically followed nearly four decades later, John certainly contributed to the teams he pitched for — he won 164 games after the surgery, 124 before it. But much more important was his contribution to the opportunity for so many other sore-armed pitchers to resume and prolong their careers.

Stephen Strasburg, the Washington Nationals right-hander, is the most celebrated active beneficiary of the surgery. John Smoltz, awaiting Hall of Fame consideration, had a 213-155 record and 154 saves in four seasons as the Atlanta Braves’ closer after the surgery. Mariano Rivera, the Yankees’ classic closer, flourished after enduring a “partial” form of the surgery in 1992 as a minor leaguer.

In an era when steroids have discredited the Hall of Fame credentials of so many, John deserves Hall of Fame credit for his contribution to what has proved so positive for so many others.

Resisting The Temptation To Call Phil Mushnick’s Reader-Contributors Pinheads…

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 4:08 am by

…mostly because they’re pointless.

Why, asks New York City reader Don Schuman, does ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, “have two broadcasters on the radio side to explain what we can’t see, but have three on the TV side to explain what we can see?” A: Because ESPN hasn’t decided who’ll be the fourth.

- Phil Mushnick, NY Post, July 26, 2013

Y’know who else has two broadcasters on the radio side and three on the TV end? The Mets and Yankees.

07.26.13

Kevin Slaten’s New Assignment : Be A Civilized Teammate

Posted in Sports Radio at 11:53 pm by

(from 2008 – The Shroud Of Kevin Slaten Toast)

St. Louis yack radio fixture Kevin Slaten is no stranger to CSTB...and we might be hearing from him again before much longer. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar reports Slaten will be sharing the airwaves with the newspaper’s Bryan Burwell ; not the same program, but certainly the same microwave and coffee machine.

Burwell has been the target of Slaten rants that rip the premise of many of his columns for being either too soft or off base. But Burwell said Thursday he has no problem working on the same station as his most outspoken detractor.

“He’s my teammate, I’m cool with him,’’ Burwell said. “I have no issues whatsoever, I’m a thick-skinned guy. I don’t know half the things he may or may not have said about me anyway. Everybody’s got an opinion, bygones are bygones. The first thing I did when we had our first team meeting was walk up and shake his hand. He shook mine, we smiled and laughed.

“And I know people made a big deal about us being on opposite sides of the team (publicity) picture. I’m like ‘Oh, please.’ It’s irrelevant, it’s a non-issue.’’

Slaten said he’ll still have his opinions, but nothing is personal with either columnist.

“I’ve never had any personal feelings one way or another, I just disagree with some things they write,’’ he said. “It’s perfectly my right to comment on it as a talk-show host. I’m sure they disagree with me sometimes. Burwell’s never hesitated to criticize me. If it becomes personal, that’s another story. I comment on what they write, in the purview of what I do.’’

07.25.13

Florida Attempts To Press The History Eraser Button

Posted in Gridiron, The Law at 4:02 pm by

On Thursday, the University Of Florida removed a plaque honoring WR Aaron Hernandez’ 2009 All-American campaign for the Gators, along with removing a commemorative brick from the entrance to Ben Griffin Stadium.  If you’re waiting for the school to divest themselves of any revenues earned during the accused murderer’s tenure in Gainesville, or for Florida to forfeit any victories during that spell, I hope you’ve wearing comfortable shoes and have plenty of provisions nearby. From the Gainesville Sun’s Zach Abolverdi :

“We didn’t feel it was appropriate to celebrate Aaron Hernandez,” UF said in a prepared statement. “We put together an immediate plan after the initial news broke to remove his likeness and name in various private and public areas in the facility, such as the South End Zone team area, locker room, football offices Heavener Complex Kornblau Lobby and the brick display entrance to the football facility.

“We were able to implement some of the changes immediately and this (brick removal) was a more complex process to complete with our vendors.

Finally, A Valid Excuse For Citi Field’s Expansive Outfield Dimensions

Posted in Baseball, Greedy Motherfuckers at 11:46 am by

ie., the Wilpons hope to pack The Great Lawn II with pathetic suckers loyal fans willing to pay $200 per head to sleep on the same gorgeous turf on which Lucas Duda has misplayed countless fly balls.

In addition to the sleepover, fans will enjoy a ballpark fare dinner buffet in FanFest, late night snack in the Modell’s Clubhouse, and breakfast. Attendees will also have the opportunity meet Mr. and Mrs. Met.

While this does sound like the worst camping experience this side of the Austin Psych Fest, “the opportunity to Mr. and Mrs. Met” is a difficult one to pass up, especially if Hillary Clinton’s been giving the latter some advice on how to handle her husband’s public transgressions, they remove their heads to reveal Kris and Anna Benson.

07.24.13

Winning’s The Most Important Thing For Alfonso Soriano (Provided He Can Pick Where & When)

Posted in Baseball at 11:47 pm by

The Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan reported Wednesday that OF Alfonso Soriano, a long-standing financial burden to the rebuilding Cubs, has spoken with GM Theo Epstein about his willingness to waive his no trade clause before the deadline.

“He asked for a couple days to think about it,” Epstein said. “He said he’ll get back to us in a couple days and let us know where he’ll go, if anywhere, and then at that point it’s up to us if we want to move forward and finalize a deal.”

Soriano confirmed the Yankees are on the list of teams he would be willing to go to. He spoke with his family and said they “support me” in any decision he makes.

“I’m 37,” Soriano said. “I want one more chance to go to the World Series. If (the Cubs) don’t have that on their mind (and) they’re preparing the team for 2015 or 2016, it’s too late for me. At the same time, I try to be a champion here. If not, I’ve got to try and do that with another team.”

Would Soriano say no to the Yankees?

“No, no, no, no,” he said.

Soriano’s sudden desire to play for a contender is somewhat curious considering we’re just a year past his rejecting two overtures from a San Francisco Giants team that, y’know, won the World Series last season. At the time, Soriano argued that San Francisco meant contending with “not good weather to play”, which was a hell of condemnation from someone who’s played several Aprils in Chicago.

Two New Shirts From Johnny Ryan

Posted in Fashion at 7:34 pm by

I don’t really get the reference on the right, but the shirt on the left seems to combine an appreciation for an icon on American Fatherhood with a celebration of seriously transgressive behavior.

We can only hope David Wells takes it as a compliment.

The Latest & Most Disturbing In A Series Of Jay Horowitz Images Circulated By His Employers

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 7:14 pm by

I’m not entirely sure what possessed the New York Mets to make a Jay Horowitz bobblehead the promo item du jour for an event billed as “Social Media Night” —- surely a collection of Jordany Valdespin’s Sexiest Selfies would’ve been more appropriate? But those misgivings aside, I am very certain this will offer the Mets marketing department some measure of redemption following Chris Cotter Bobblehead Night, which resulted in what experts are calling The Least Coveted eBay Item Of All Time.

Memo To Derrick Rose, RG III : This Is What A Sick Comeback Sounds Like

Posted in Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 4:04 pm by

Joel RL Phelps & The Downer Trio – “Thank You and Goodnight”. From the LP, ‘Gala’ (12XU 055-1), out September 17.

07.23.13

Guest Editorial : Randy L’s Words Of Advice For Huma Abedin

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York, politics at 6:58 pm by

(EDITOR’s NOTE :  from time to time, decorated sports executive / consumer rights advocate Randy L of the Bronx checks in at CSTB to weigh in on the important issues of the day.  Upon learning of the most recent sexting revelations surrounding former Rep. Anthony Weiner, Randy offered, nay, demanded we publish the following).

Greetings, fellow lovers of democracy and free expression.  I realize we’re living in troubled times and many of you are unsettled when a public figure you’ve invested so much faith in can so casually, so routinely  violate your trust.  But enough about our disabled third baseman. Instead, I’d like to discuss the controversy swirling around NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and his lovely wife, Humidor Huma.

I don’t wanna get all puritanical or quasi-religious about this (who do you think I am, Chad Curtis?) but Anthony seems to have made a number of questionable decisions, the likes of which have embarrassed his constituents, his family, his political party, and most importantly, the people who were considering making a sizable financial contribution to his campaign.  OK, I’ll get over it, but I’m not sure Weiner will rebound so quickly.  Lucky for him, I have all sorts of experience dealing with situations almost as awkward as his, and as such, I’m uniquely qualified to offer guidance.  So listen up, Weiner!  It’s like you’re getting a free pep talk from Dick Morris, without any of the liabilities!

A successful political campaign is not altogether different from running the world’s most successful professional sports franchise.  Both attract their share of obsequious hangers-on, but whether you’re trying to extract yourself from an embarrassing series of correspondence with a woman less than half your age, or you’re simply telling Rudy Guiliani he cannot wear a full Yankee uniform in the dugout, it’s very important to maintain boundaries. When our general manager disgraced the Yankee brand by thinking with his cock rather than his brain, we didn’t allow him to face the cameras in a smug manner, nor was he allowed to parade his long suffering spouse in front of a media gauntlet as a means of seeking sympathy.

Nope, instead with the help of the same Yankee medical staff that so successfully curbed the after-hours self-destructive behaviors of such arrested adolescents as Jason Giambi and David Wells, we prescribed Brian Cashman a powerful daily dose of Depo-Provera.  And since he’s been on what I like to call a “PDD” (Performance Destroying Drug), not only has he stopped patrolling the region’s libraries looking for new sex partners, but he’s made some savvy moves to acquire Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay, both of whom I expected to accomplish as much in 2013 as Joba Chamberlain at a Spelling Bee.

(there was also our commissioning a hypnotist who compelled Cashman to imagine Waldman in a catsuit each time he visited the “Casual Encounters” section of a popular website, but I’ll be honest — our legal dept. considers that to be some borderline Manchurian Candidate shit and we might have to just settle for the drugs going forward).

I’m trying to remain positive about this.  There’s no reason why Anthony Weiner’s zipper problems need be the end of his time in the public eye, he simply needs to get it under control. David Cone eventually got his shit together, and I’ll bet Weiner can, too. Huma, if you’d like to join me for dinner at NYY Steak, I’m sure we can work out the proper course of medical action for your horny hubby.  And what do I want in return?  Absolutely nothing, other than knowing I’ve saved yet another relationship, and done what I can to repair a once glittering political career.

I LOVE NY,

Randy L.

Ryan Braun’s Not Apologizing To A Dino…

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 5:57 pm by

…and neither am I! Though New York Mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner has done a bit to take the heat off suspended Milwaukee OF Ryan Braun, the latter’s burial of MLB sample collector Dino Laurenzi Jr. (above) still sticks in the craw of many observers.  I can’t pretend I’m impartial here —- a good looking Jewish guy at the top of his field tried to get someone named Dino fired?  BEEN THERE, DONE THAT.    Or as SBN Nation’s Bill Parker might put it, guilty or not, Braun “doesn’t owe Laurenzi anything”, much less an apology.

A major, kind of unspoken part of how the criminal procedure system works is that if your rights to having proper procedures followed have been violated, you not only have the right to contest those procedures, you’re not only acting in your own rational self-interest, but you almost have a duty to raise those issues; regardless of guilt or innocence or something in between, in making sure the proper procedures were followed in building the case against you, you’re a part of helping to police and enforce the integrity of the process for everyone else.

“Things we learned about the collector” could insinuate something unsavory. It could also mean, translated from lawyer-speak into baseball-player-speak, that they learned that the collector may not have handled the sample in strict accordance with the procedures.

Which is ultimately what it did mean. Which Laurenzi didn’t. Which is the reason Laurenzi faced media scrutiny and apparently lost his job — not because Braun made one or two statements that may or may not have vaguely suggested bad things about him, but because Laurenzi did not in fact do his job.

So whatever else you may find in the litany of things Braun is guilty of, the ruination and character assassination of one Dino Laurenzi, Jr. is not on there. Rail at Braun all you like for the cheating he (apparently) did. In that 2011-12 appeal, though? Braun and his lawyers used the criminal procedure rules as adopted by baseball and the MLBPA in exactly the way they were intended to be used, and has nothing to apologize for there.