The Mets Thank Terry Collins (And Give Up On 2014)

Posted in Baseball at 5:12 pm by

On Monday, the Chicago Cubs parted ways with manager Dale Sveum after a pair of consecutive 5th place finishes and a combined 127-197 mark.   Cubs GM Theo Epstein spoke of needing to find “that spark of a winning culture” after terminating the well liked Sveum, and one can safely conclude the former had determined Sveum was not the right guy to lead a club with ambitions beyond merely playing 162 games.

Conversely, the New York Mets today rewarded 64-year-old manager Terry Collins — he of the 225-261 record over the last 3 seasons — with a two year contract extension. Collins, who presided over a 50-50 finish this season despite losing a number of key players to injury for long stretches, said of the new pact, “if you’re going to manage, this is the place. There’s no better stage, no bigger stage than to manage here.”

And that’s more than little worrying. If Collins considers a half empty (at best) stadium the best of all possible venues, that might speak to the measured expectations of the manager and his paymasters. For all the talk of fielding something beyond a slightly glorified Triple A starting lineup next spring, Capital New York’s Howard Megdal calls GM Sandy Alderson fantasy payroll of $90-100 million just that, a fantasy that’s “floated away before the offseason even begins.”

ESPN.’s Adam Rubin reported on Friday that the Mets, regardless of whether they had a protected pick in next year’s draft, wouldn’t be going after free agents who received qualifying offers from their own teams. (Related: it was supposedly losing a first-round pick that kept the Mets from signing Michael Bourn last winter.)

The math on this is pretty simple. A qualifying offer, last year, was for one year, $13.3 million. It is likely to be similar this year. So any free agent who can reasonably expect a better contract on the open market than that, which covers the most productive of the free agents, will receive, and refuse, a qualifying offer.

The Mets, before the free agent game even begins, are saying they’re not in on any of them.

They were saying that in another way in Rubin’s Friday reporting about Shin-Soo Choo, who you might remember from a exciting-sounding report a few weeks ago as a likely target for the team. Sure, the Mets would sign Choo, the report said, but won’t offer more than the four-year, $48 million they nearly offered Bourn last year. Considering that comparable outfielder Hunter Pence just signed a five-year, $90 million deal with the Giants this weekend, saying they’d offer roughly half that to Choo is just a fancy way of saying they won’t be signing him, either.

Even Alderson’s payroll from approximately 100 days ago is, according to Rubin’s reporting on Monday, no longer “sane.” The salaries coming off the books, the team holes, the likely free agents, none of these have really changed, except for an additional team problem to fix if Matt Harvey is unable to avoid Tommy John surgery. Yet somehow, Alderson’s own publicly defined plan from June is now crazy.

Austin Nightlife Bulletin : CUNTZ, Tonight At The Mohawk

Posted in Austin, Rock Und Roll at 3:26 pm by

(Murphy’s, Memphis, 9/28)

Melbourne quartet CUNTZ are making their Austin debut tonight at the Mohawk, as they’re in the homestretch of a US tour in support of their amazing 2nd LP, ‘Solid Mates’ (Homeless).   Since I’m no collection agent I won’t say who they’re indebted to, but if you’re the sort of person who has spent far too many hours listening to Grong Grong, Negative Trend, Venom P. Stinger or the U-Men, this is probably right in your wheelhouse.  And if you’re not that sort of person, I’m not sure why I even bother knowing you (especially with your lack of a suitable wheelhouse).  The show is free thanks to a Swedish vodka company,  and given that it isn’t going head to head with the “M*A*S*H” finale or anything, you’ve few excuses not to attend.

Spray Paint are just back from a tour in which they spent a lot of time in tents or starting at mountains and shit. Ask them about it.  Burnt Skull are playing, too.  The Swedish vodka company has yet to explain to me if I’m being paid to DJ in airplane-size bottles of vodka or in Union Carbide Productions records, but I hope when I told them I’d gladly do it for free, they knew I was lying.


NYDN Helpfully Outlines The Mets’ Orchestrated Attempts To Suck Up To Mike Piazza

Posted in Baseball at 6:59 pm by

New York Daily News beat reporter Andy Martino recently came under scrutiny when his on-camera role for the Mets-owned SNY became all but impossible to ignore. That said, perhaps it’s Martino’s special bond with Mets ownership that allowed him to compose the following without thinking how dopey it looks for all concerned.  To wit, the Mets inducted Mike Piazza (above, right)  into the team’s Hall Of Fame earlier today, an honor that’s right up with the Canadian Baseball Hall Of Fame.  Said honor occurred despite Metal Mike taking shots at Mets P.R. director Jay Horowitz and oft-ridiculed genetic lottery winner, Jeff Wilpon in his less-than-tell-all autobiography.

The Mets’ Hall of Fame committee consists of Horwitz, former pitcher and longtime instructor Al Jackson, broadcasters Gary Cohen and Howie Rose, and MLB.com writer Marty Noble. According to people briefed on the discussions, the committee was mindful of Piazza’s failure to gain election into the Baseball Hall of Fame last January.

The most productive offensive catcher in baseball history, Piazza collected just 57.8% of the vote during his first year of eligibility (75% is required for induction). That showing was likely the result of unproven suspicion that Piazza used steroids, charges he denied in his memoir.

Beginning in January and continuing after Piazza’s book emerged in the spring, the Mets stood behind Piazza with a series of public gestures. After the Cooperstown vote, Wilpon issued a statement that read, in part, “The statistics he compiled during his career as a catcher were unmatched by anyone in the history of the game. We are optimistic one day soon Mike’s plaque, with a Mets cap, will be hanging in Cooperstown where it truly belongs.”

Later, some on the Mets’ Hall of Fame committee felt that it would be a strong show of support to elect Piazza before he landed in Cooperstown. The team wanted to make clear to Piazza that it considered him a Hall of Famer, regardless of how members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voted.

“The (Mets) Hall of Fame committee recommended it,” Wilpon says now. “I agreed with it. Some of our fans asked for it and wanted it. It seemed like the right time for Mike and for us.”

Before this year, the timing did not feel right. Mets people and friends of Piazza generally describe the distance as a matter of a longtime star easing into private life, rather than acrimony between the sides.

He’s No Nikolai Volkoff : Gene Simmons’ National Anthem

Posted in Gridiron, We Aren't The World at 3:38 pm by

…and he’s not quite Marvin Gaye, either.  There has been  some crazy speculation about the NFL’s attempts to gain a tiny foothold in the UK market, from Dino Costa doubting the NFL has nearly as many British fans as they claim , to Ken Belson suggesting sports fans in the UK are turned off by violence.

If they have any common sense at all, they’re deeply offended by this :


More (Really) Awkward Analogies For Paul Finebaum

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron, Sports Radio at 9:34 pm by

ESPN’s resident SEC chat maven Paul Finebaum (above) was quoted earlier today likening USC head football coach Lane Kiffin to a very successful pop star. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a pop star most adults have much regard for (“in some respects, Lane Kiffin is the Miley Cyrus of College Football. He has very little talent, but we simply can’t keep our eyes off of him,”). Adding fuel to suspicions Finebaum either has young neighbors or is simply a rockist, the Kiffin diss comes weeks after the broadcaster called Johnny Manziel, “The Justin Bieber of College Football”. With this train of thought in mind, I thought I’d give the overworked Finebaum a helping hand.

Western Michigan’s PJ Fleck is the Anton Newcombe of College Football.
Recently sacked NCCU head coach Henry Frazier III is the Chris Brown of College Football.
Bobby Petrino is the John Edwards Bill Wyman of College Football.

OK, maybe you can supply the rest. Considering I got thru 3 without mentioning Scott Weiland once, I think I’m being pretty respectful to the coaching fraternity.


How Soon They Forget : Lions WR’s Indirect Diss Of Another Legend In Not-Keeping-Your-Hands-On-The-Wheel

Posted in Automobiles, Food, Gridiron at 8:38 pm by

(above : Burleson, standing in my walk-in closet circa 1996)

As you’ve probably read elsewhere, Detroit wide receiver Nate Burleson might miss the rest of the 2013 season after wrecking his 2009 Yukon SUV and breaking bones in his left forearm while trying to rescue pizza. On Friday, Burleson attempted to detail the accident to a media throng that included the Detroit Free Press’ Carlos Monarrez :

“…plugging in my phone, reaching for something and I had some pizzas sitting in my passenger’s seat. They started to slide. Hand full of pizza. Once I looked up, I felt I was close to a vehicle, tried to correct the car, overcorrected it and boom, right into the center median.”

Burleson said, from what he remembers, he might have swerved over from the far right late. His air bags deployed, his 2009 GMC Yukon was totaled and he was taken by ambulance to Henry Ford Hospital in West Bloomfield.

He held on to the wheel with his left hand and the impact with the median resulted in two broken bones in his left forearm.

“Hopped out, sitting there and the police came,” he said. “And once I looked down, I saw there was blood on my shirt. Didn’t know where it came from, but it was from my chin. That was from air bag. The impact was from my hand gripping the wheel.”

“Hopped on the freeway and multitasking,” he said. “I’ll be honest with you. I’m the king of that. Well, I was.”

With all due respect to Mr. Burleson, the late Eddie Griffin remains the true King Of Multitasking.

When Brian Wilson’s Baubles Are MIA, He’s Going Straight To The Top

Posted in Baseball at 2:05 pm by

Given that Dodgers reliever Brian Wilson stands a chance of collecting a third World Series ring in the very near future, you’d think his disposition towards his former employers wouldn’t register high on the rage meter, but that’s not how witnesses at AT&T Park in San Francisco put it. From the SF Chronicle’s Henry Schulman :

In one of the oddest scenes you’ll ever see after a game, former Giants closer Brian Wilson walked to the Giants’ side of the field after tonight’s 3-2 San Francisco victory, as Giants players were shaking hands on the field, to rail on team president Larry Baer for not getting his 2012 World Series ring.

Wilson’s actions stunned Baer and Giants officials, who said they tried repeatedly throughout the season to meet with Wilson so the ring could be presented, and that he never responded, even when the Giants invited him to the ring ceremony during the first weekend of the home season.

“I don’t know why he decided to make a show of it and air his grievance tonight,” team spokeswoman Staci Slaughter said


ESPN.com : Morphing Into Bleacher Report Before Your Very Eyes

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 4:47 pm by

Hugh Douglas Might Not Make It To The Launch Party : Introducing Eagles Wine

Posted in Gridiron, The Marketplace at 4:06 pm by

File this one under, “Not Served At The Wing Bowl” ;  Foobooz reports the Philadelphia Eagles are launching their own 2011 cabernet sauvignon, aka “Rollout”, sourced from the Napa Valley and Dry Creek.  Which I guess sounds better than “sourced from the former ECW Arena”. It also sounds like a nicer sales pitch than, “we’re going to make Dick Vermeil cry”.

The wine will be on sale throughout the Philadelphia area at Pennsylvania liquor stores as well as at southern New Jersey retailers. The wine will also be available for purchase on the club level and in suites at Lincoln Financial Field. We’re sure it will go great with Marc Vetri’s North Philadelphia sausage cheesesteak.

Eagles Senior Vice President of Business, Ari Roitman says the bottle is “a nice way for fans to celebrate four generations strong of Eagles football whether they enjoy it with friends and family over dinner or save it as a keepsake.”


Brian McCann Will Not Tolerate His Pitcher Being Shown Up In Front Of A Few Thousand People

Posted in Baseball at 10:33 pm by

Putting aside for a moment whether or not Milwaukee’s Carlos Gomez ought to dial it down a bit, what was up with the non-ejection of Braves catcher Brian McCann? By essentially allowing McCann to prevent an opponent from touching home plate for an etiquette violation, isn’t that tacit endorsement on the part of the umpiring crew? And given there’s nothing in the rule book about good taste, what rule did Gomez violate?

If a slow trot and/or a demonstrative celebration is considered justifiable provocation for a fight by MLB, why aren’t players being issued with warnings after hitting a home run? Y’know, a stern finger pointed towards the Braves dugout, just in case Freddie Freeman doesn’t bust it out of the box the next time he goes deep.

Not Coming To Any Film Festival, Anywhere : A Movie About Brian Knobbs’ Biggest Fan

Posted in Cinema, Professional Wrestling at 9:23 pm by

NYC’s Rocks Off — the promoters who pioneered the concept of the Cro-Mags on a boat — are offering a slim 5 movies in their forthcoming Rocks Off Pro Wrestling Film Fest, but while “No Holds Barred” failed to make the cut, what ought to be the first second or third Manhattan screening of “Sadermania : From Fanship To Friendship” has piqued my curiosity and perhaps yours as well. That this film was apparently produced without the hamfisted touch of Eric Bischoff seems equal parts odd/fortunate, but perhaps that has a little to do with the former Terry Bollea being portrayed in an sympathetic light (more believably than “No Holds Barred”, anyway).

It’s Been A Particularly Shitty 5 Weeks For Hugh Douglas

Posted in "Wife Beater" Is Not A Fashion Statement, Gridiron, Sports Radio, The Law at 6:30 pm by

9 year NFL vet and recently canned ESPN commentator Hugh Douglas, was arrested Sunday morning at a Hartford, CT Marriott hotel and charged with second-degree strangulation and third-degree assault.  Douglas has told police that visible injuries suffered by an unidentified female companion were the result of “rough sex”…and we all know how well that defense worked out for Robert Chambers. From the Hartford Courant’s Christine Dempsey and Kelly Glista :

According to the report, a hotel clerk called police about 2:50 a.m. Sunday after Douglas’ girlfriend asked if there were cameras in the hotel, saying she had been assaulted. When the clerk said no, the woman became a little upset and started walking away. As she was leaving, the clerk noticed bruises on the woman’s neck, and he asked security to stop her and called the police, according to the report.

The woman told the officer that she didn’t want police to be called and that she and her boyfriend of eight months had “a little fight but nothing serious.”of eight months had “a little fight but nothing serious.”

Later, at Hartford Hospital, the woman offered more details.

She told the officer that she and Douglas had gone out for some drinks, and that when they returned to the hotel, they had an argument and she left the hotel room, the report states. As she reached the elevator, Douglas caught up to her and stopped her from getting in, she told the officer. He grabbed her by the neck, picked her up and carried her down the hallway toward the room, slamming her into the walls along the way, the report says.

She blacked out because she couldn’t breathe, the woman told police. When she woke up, she was lying on the bed — fully clothed — with a headache, then climbed out of bed, left the room and ran to the elevator, the report states.

El Chain For SB XLVIII

Posted in Gridiron, Rock Und Roll at 1:02 pm by

sign the petition at Change.org.  Or don’t. When Roger Goodell considers the argument above, a petition probably won’t even be necessary.


CSTB’s Greatest Hits : (One) Man’s Inhumanity To Man Man (May, 2007)

Posted in Austin, Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 11:15 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : this evening the Philadelphia ensemble Man Man visited Austin’s Mohawk and presumably entertained a sizable throng. I couldn’t make it because I’d DVR’d “The Man With The 132 lb Scrotum”. Sure, I’ve seen it before, but I’ve seen Man Man before, too. So I can say with full authority which is more entertaining. From CSTB, May 10, 2007 – GC)

While David Roth was entertaining himself by not watching Game 2 of the Warriors/Jazz series, I was amongst those held captive last night in an outdoor ampitheatre surrounded by big box retailers, watching 3 American rock’n'roll bands of varying degrees of repute.

Sandwiched between the very respectable Love As Laughter (who are visually and musically unrecognizable from the time they had the misfortune of sharing a bill with the Air Traffic Controllers in 1998) and shockingly impressive Modest Marr (who showed the difference between mere entertainment and transcendence might just be a matter of adding the right iconic sideman — but enough about Magic Andy, that elderly guitarist from Manchester is no slouch, either) were a group I humbly submit as the Worst Of 2007. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Man Man.

To call Man Man’s cloy, contrived and feckless display of grunts, snorts and do’s and don’t's column “wackiness” an affront to adult society is to give them far too much credit. We’re regularly assaulted by artists who rely on gestures rather than content, but last night’s performance was a new low in hack-suckery. Minutes after the set, Don Van Vliet had his do-not-resuscitate papers signed and registered, for fear he might someday be cited as an influence. Hours afterwards, plans were put in place for a summer package tour featuring Man Man, the reformed Primus, Fishbone and at least one token “conscious” rap artist (are Arrested Development available, with or without the zillion year old guy?). If necessary, a token pop/punk artist with fewer idiosyncrasies than Tim Duncan can be added to the bottom of the bill (paging What Made Milwaukee Famous).

At the risk of coming off like even more of a dust-covered old fuck than usual, there’s more grit, invention and genuine insanity in the 3 minues of Spike In Vain’s “EKG” than Man Man’s half dozen members could muster during the longest 30 minutes of my life. To paraphase Dice Clay as Ford Fairlaine, they’re raping rock and killing roll. Or perhaps that was killing rock and raping roll. Either way, these guys are bad fucking news.

Jim Bouton Doesn’t Wanna See Snapshots Of Your Lunch, Either

Posted in Baseball, twitter twatter at 7:45 pm by

“Ball Four” author and 16-year MLB vet Jim Bouton touched a number of topics with The Sporting News’ Jesse Spector, including but not limited to Bouton’s baseball and writing careers. At one point, Bouton suggests a less-than-100%-focused player might have a unique perspective on the game within/beyond the game (“you’re going to end up with a mediocre pitcher who could basically be a sportswriter,”), though it would seem he’s not convinced social media is an adequate launching pad (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

SN: I think we see that a little bit on Twitter, and I think of a guy like Brandon McCarthy, who has found a good following doing that. Is that one of the benefits, that we get to see almost as it happens — and Dirk Hayhurst wrote his books — why is it always pitchers?
JB: Well, they’re not playing every day. They’ve got a lot of time to think. The other thing is, just because somebody’s got a tweet machine, it doesn’t mean it’s gonna be — who cares? You know what I mean? It’s got to be interesting observations, not just here’s what I did. Here’s not only what I did, here’s why it’s important, or here’s why it’s interesting, or here’s why this is funny. You can’t just go through your day tweeting stuff that’s not worth anything.
SN: I think that’s why a guy like McCarthy connects with people.
JB: What’s he saying? Give me an average tweet.
SN: “When discussing ‘pimping’ homers, it’s best to remember the phrase ‘who cares?’ ”
JB: He’s got some self-awareness.
SN: I think that’s what’s resonating with people.
JB: Could you fill a book with tweets?
SN: Probably not, though somebody will eventually try to do it.
JB: Why would that be a good idea or not be a good idea?
SN: It’s not a good idea because the tweet itself is limited by space — it would be like notes for a book. It’s still possible to connect with people that way, and I think it shows that you’re a regular guy.
JB: Is that the best we can do, that a regular guy has a thought?

Has Brian Cashman Ever Considered This Sort Of Approach?

Posted in Austin, History's Great Hook-Ups at 5:21 pm by

(what woman could possibly resist the allure of Austin’s faux-Seattle skyline or a man confident enough to rock a pink shirt and a Spiezo-scroatee?)

Apparently a 2009 profile courtesy of Metal Sucks.net wasn’t enough publicity for Laramie Busby aka Romeo Rose, who is offering a $1500 “finders fee” to whoever can help him identify his true love.  Lest you think Mr. Busby is a tad desperate, rest assured he has rather exacting standards.

I want the girl to be attractive.

I like girls that are thin, or with a toned or athletic build. A average build is fine too, just as long as you are not over weight. I will not date a overweight or fat girl.

I like girls that are 130 pounds or less. Of course weight needs to be in proportion to their height, as long as they aren’t considred overweight, they should be fine.

Being overweight is a total dealbreaker with me.

I also like girls with long hair. I like a girl to look like a girl, not a man, I like a feminine, pretty girl. I like hair down to the shoulders at least. Sometimes I can make exceptions if it is shorter depending on how it looks on the girl. But for the most part, I love long hair.

Redheads are my favorite, next is Brunettes, and next is Blondes, in that order. I like all 3, but I’m just saying if I had to choose, that’s my order of preference.

I will not date a Black girl. I don’t care if she looks like Halle Berry, I will not ever date a Black girl.

However, I will date any other race, Hispanic, Mexican, Spanish, Russian, Italian, French, European, White, whatever, anything except Black.

I do not like glasses on a girl. Although, it’s not a dealbreaker, as long as she can wear contacts at least most of the time.

I do not ever want to have kids, so if a girl is wanting to have babies, I am not her man.

I will not date a girl that does not have a job or career.

I am not looking for any type of woman that is materialistic or a gold digger or expects a man to pay for everything.

I do not like tattoos on a woman. If a woman already has tattoos, it may not be a deal breaker unless she plans to get more in the future. If a woman has something small and feminine like a butterfly or rose already on her ankle or something then it may not necessacerily be a dealbreaker. And it would also help if she would consider having them laser removed, something I might would even pay to have done for her.

To me, tattoos just represent white trash or somone that’s been in prison. I do not care for following trends like mindless sheep and getting tats just because what ever Star on TV got them, they will always be a symbol of White Trash. The Female human body is the most beautiful work of Art God ever created, to tattoo it with ink is the same as vandalising a famous Monet painting with a can of spray paint!

I also do not like piercings on a woman. I do not like a woman to have anything pireced other than her Ears. If she has other piercings it’s not a dealbreaker as long as she removes them and never wears them again.

I do not like gamblers. I will not be in any relationship with a woman that gambles or wastes money on such things.

I do not like strippers! I will not date any girl that has ever been a stripper. I believe that the only person that should ever see a womans naked body is only her boyfriend or husband.

I will not date any girl that has ever had a threesome, or a large number of past sexual partners. I do not want a promiscuous slut, I want a normal, decent, good hearted girlfriend.

I will not date any girl if she is still friends with any men that she has been intimate with in the past, I believe once a relationship with someone is over, it’s OVER.

When I think of East Austin, I think of areas like around 12th & Chicon, that just looks like poverty striken, ghetto people crime infested neighborhoods, full of the trashy people that have long criminal records and lack any proper education. There’s nothing good I can say about East Austin, in fact I think East Austin is a disgrace the the great city of Austin and I wish we could eliminate that whole segment of the population from our beautiful city. Hopefully, that area will be filled with condos or something so that that “type” of people will be priced out of Austin and no longer be able to afford to live within our city limits here.

Mr. Busby, I think I’ve good news and bad news for you. The good news is, I’ve found your girl. The bad news is that it’s gonna cost you a little more than $1500.


Congrats To Whoever Came Up With The San Francisco Crazy Crab — You’re Now Officially Off The Hook

Posted in Gridiron, When Mascots Attack at 7:34 pm by

…and the most Ill-Advised Mascot Idea In Recent Memory goes to the resurgent Oakland Raiders.  Perhaps not satisfied that some percentage of their fanbase has made the world (relatively) safe for Juggalos, Oakland is expected to unveil The Raider Rusher (above),  an innovation SB Nation’s Levi Damien calls, “about as far from anything Al Davis could possibly have imagined and if he were alive, no way anything that looked like that would be allowed to put a Raiders shield on the side of its giant head.” ESPN.com’s  Darren Rovell reassures the public the character taken from the Nickelodeon series, “NFL Rush Zone”, “will appear in Raiderville, the Raiders’ interactive tailgate section, at all home games and be found inside three kids zones located inside the O.co Coliseum,” while quoting a team representative as promising they “currently have no plans to use him on the field.”

That is, unless Darren McFadden gets hurt.

Cruz : Accepting PED Suspension Wasn’t My Call

Posted in Baseball at 2:40 pm by

And whose was it, exactly?  It would be an understatement to say the Texas Rangers could’ve used Nelson Cruz’ help over the past 50 games, but the suspended OF chose not to appeal his 50 game ban ala A-Rod, and as such, he’ll only be available again this year if the Rangers make the playoffs. Speaking with USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, Cruz claims the decision some have deemed selfish, was the handiwork of UNSEEN FORCES.

“My first thought was to appeal, and right up to the last day I told (the Rangers) my decision was to appeal,” Cruz says. “That was my plan. It’s hard to explain it, but at the end it wasn’t my decision. It wasn’t what I wanted to do. It came out of my hands.”

Cruz won’t go into specifics. He says if he hadn’t accepted the 50-game suspension, MLB officials were threatening a 100-game ban. With Cruz due to become a free agent in November, he knew sitting out the first 100 games of the 2014 season would hurt his free agent value.

“It was so hard, because I knew something worse could happen to me,” Cruz says. “If I wasn’t a free agent, it would have been different. It’s a totally different situation. I didn’t want to take 100 games next year. It’s part of the business.”

In the meantime, Cruz, 33, talks to the minor leaguers in camp, telling them he’s living proof of the ugly consequences of performance-enhancing drugs.“I’m helping kids here and sharing my story, telling them what happened with me,” Cruz says. “Hopefully they don’t make the same mistakes I did.”

Leafs, Sabres Raise The Bar For Preseason NHL Entertainment

Posted in Hockey at 12:40 am by

Even if hockey fights aren’t your cup of tea, this still beats the hell out of the Emmy Awards.


From The Desk Of Randy L : When Metallica Met Mo

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York at 10:00 pm by

(From time to time, CSTB is privileged to feature the commentary of Bronx baseball executive / consumer advocate Randy L.   On the occasion of Yankees closer Mariano Rivera’s final home game — and the extensive ceremonies to mark this historic day —- Randy offered, nay, he insisted on sharing his thoughts – GC)

Greetings, citizens of Yankee Universe and the sad, inconsequential persons who only wish they could be a part of it. Though this weekend was undoubtedly special for the many admirers of Mariano Rivera and our own resident anti-masturbation advocate, Andy Pettitte, I would be remiss in not congratulating the publisher of this web site on Can’t Stop The (Mouth)-Breathing’s 10th Anniversary.  You’d think during all that time, they’d either have managed to maintain their earlier archives or at least come up with a design that says something besides PLEASE GO AWAY, but hey, we can’t all be Bustle.com, I am right?

Back to the matter at hand, however.  Sunday was a glorious day at the New Stadium, and this proud organization spared no expense in bringing in any number of fan favorites from Mariano Rivera’s 18 year tenure in pinstripes.  Paul O’Neil, David Cone, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Jim Leyritz, Hensley Meullens, heck, you couldn’t roll around on the floor of the Yankee clubhouse for 2 or 3 minutes without colliding with a sure-thing Hall of Famer. And that’s exactly what Joba Chamberlain and CC Sabathia did earlier today when they got into it over the last piece of lox on the pregame spread.

But even those two couldn’t spoil a beautiful moment, one that was made extra special by the appearance of James, Kirk, Lars, and Cliff Jason Robert, aka the Fab Four, aka Metallica. I don’t mind telling you it took some serious string-pulling to arrange their performance of “Enter Sandman”, and much as I’m loathe to take all the credit for such a coup….well, who else are you gonna thank?  Cashman’s musical tastes run more towards songs like “Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places”, “Torn Between Two Lovers” or “I’ve Never Been To Me”.

I know what you’re saying.  “What could a responsible, decorated business executive like Randy L. know about metal?”  A fuck of a lot more than most of you studio apartment-dwelling scumbags know about grooming or personal hygiene, as it turns out.  In fact, while you’ve probably read many stories about Mo’s ambivalence towards “Enter Sandman”, you might not be aware that for many years, I have personally lobbied him to replace it with Megadeth’s “Peace Sells (But Who’s Buying?)”.  For starters, I’m a great admirer of former Metallica guitarist Dave Mustaine, a man who has combined a brand of consumer advocacy not unlike my own with a keen interest in current events. And it’s simply a much, much better song ; certainly it carries a lyrical message we can all relate to.

OK, so it turns out Mo’s a pacifist. That tiny shortcoming aside, he remains the classiest person I’ve ever encountered when not staring directly into a mirror.  And that’s why it pains me so much to see our crosstown rivals falling over themselves to commemorate a manufactured piece of history.  The Mets are really going to induct Mike Piazza into their pseudo-Hall Of Fame?  I guess they might as well, that’s the only one he’s getting into without a ticket.  But if the Wilpons  want to have a special day for a guy who loudly/publicly announced his heterosexuality, that’s no skin off my nose, just so long as they understand Jason Giambi’s gonna want a day and a parade when he finds out about this (assuming he has any friends willing to read this entry aloud).

All of that said, I’m not without empathy for our Flushing neighbors.  I understand Mr. Piazza is something of an avowed “metal head”, and with that in mind, if the Mets would like to hire Sebastian Bach to serenade him on Sept. 29, I will gladly lend them the $250 needed to make it happen.  You know I love competition, but when there’s a chance to bring a smile to the face of New York baseball fans, regardless of whatever dubious choices they’ve made in their lives, I’ll do whatever I can to make it happen.

thanks for the memories, Mo!

Randy L.

Hey, If Someone Said You Were A Worse Pro Franchise Than The Mets, You Might Overreact, Too

Posted in Basketball, The Marketplace at 6:48 pm by

The above full page ad in Sunday’s Sacramento Bee, prompted by an ESPN The Magazine list that ranks the Kings dead last in all of major North American pro sports teams. Though I think they finished ahead of the Montreal Alouettes.  According to the Bee’s Tom Couzens, “the list is based on weighted scores in eight categories: fan relations (25.2 percent), affordability (17.4), bang for the buck (16.8), stadium experience (12.4), players (11.3), ownership (10.2), title track (3.6) and coaching (3.1).” I’m gonna presume that “stadium experience” includes watching DeMarcus Cousins get a coach fired.

Once Again The “O” In O.co Coliseum Stands For “Oh No, There’s Sewage Everywhere”

Posted in Baseball, The World Of Entertainment at 5:16 pm by

(above : A’s owner Lewis Wolff shows reporters the highest possible point in a mooted new ballpark where fans could escape a sewage explosion)

Texas’ 10 inning loss to K.C. earlier today clinched the 2013 AL West crown for the Oakland Athletics, who are currently nursing a 9-4 lead at home to Minnesota. You’ll note I didn’t use the expression “home sweet home”, because once again, the O.co Coliseum has proven to be anything but to the overachieving A’s, as the San Jose Mercury News’ Mark Purdy explains.

Saturday when a pregame downpour hit the ballpark, storm sewer drains in both dugouts couldn’t handle the deluge and backed up, flooding the bench areas for a while until the water dissipated. And that was the good news. Because over in the home clubhouse, a toilet in the coaches’ dressing room was suffering from, ahem, a reversal of fortune.

Ryan Cook, the A’s reliever, described the scene to reporters as “a sewage volcano.” Sounds like a SyFy Channel movie, except … it’s real! This is the third time since June that a sewage eruption has befouled a different part of the Coliseum, though none have occurred in spectator or concession areas. At least none that have been made public.

Saturday, rescue crews reported for duty and quickly handled the issue. But after the A’s victory, manager Bob Melvin was asked for a plumbing update.

“Everything’s OK,” Melvin reported, as if he were calmly discussing his starting rotation. “We’ve got somebody on call for it.”


Paging Uncle Dave Lewis : The Bengals Are Bereft Of Good Musical Ideas

Posted in Gridiron, The World Of Entertainment at 5:43 pm by

(The Customs, possibly available to fill in for Katy Perry if anyone asks)

Following an impossible to ignore Twitter backlash, Cincinnati Bengals management tells the Wall Street Journal’s Kevin Clark that they’ll deemphasize the playing of Katy Perry’s “Roar” over the Paul Brown Stadium tannoy. It seems the Bengals are the last people to figure out the pop stylings of Ms. Perry were unlikely appeal to blatant rockists adult NFL fans.

“I think some fans proved that there’s an expectation that when the team takes the field, there should be more of a hard-rock, classic-rock song and I know that’s what we’re going to do this game,” said Jeff Berding, the Bengals’ director of sales and public affairs. “Katy Perry is not going to be the last song you hear before the team takes the field.”

When Mitchell Morgan, a 23-year-old business student in Cincinnati, tried to get pumped up in the stadium’s upper bowl before the game Monday, he braced to bang his head to classic stadium rock fare—Guns N’ Roses, maybe AC/DC. Instead, he heard “Roar,” which—while having some Bengals-oriented lyrics (“I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar”)—is far softer than what he expected.

“I mean, I know what they are going for but it’s not going to work. How can you think you can do something like that without any backlash?” Morgan said. “There were Steelers fans next to me laughing.”

Andrew Watson, a 31-year-old insurance broker who was in section 102 on Monday, looked at his cousin when the song began. “We both kind of looked at each other like, ‘Is that the song they are really playing?’ ” he said. “I would hope they aren’t trying to make it an anthem.”

Jason Patrick, a 34-year-old in sales in section 312, said it was “the running joke of the night.”

“You expect to hear certain things at a football game: ‘Crazy Train’ and basically ‘Jock Jams volume one,’ ” he said, referring to the compilation of stadium staples released in the 1990s. “So we hear this and we’re saying, ‘Uh, is this our new theme song?’”

Paolo Di Canio – All Too Willing To Take The Heat Off His Players

Posted in Football at 2:38 pm by

Whether Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio was apologizing for his club’s miserable start to the 2013-14 EPL season (one point of of a possible 15) or merely letting the traveling supports that he needed a lift home, I am hopeful the somewhat pushy, occasional sieg-heiler has set a precedent of sorts. Who amongst us wouldn’t like to see Rex Ryan commiserating with Jets fans in the Meadowlands parking lot?


There’s At Least One Highlight From The Motley Crüe AMA

Posted in Free Expression, Rock Und Roll, The Internet at 7:11 pm by

So that worked out pretty well.