Not Since Milton Bradley Anger Management Night Has The Oakland A’s Marketing Department Been So Left Holding The Bag

Posted in Baseball, Fashion at 9:23 pm by

Or, if you prefer, “giant skid full of Yoenis Cespedes giveaway shirts”.

Megdal : What Part Of The Mets Are Broke(n) Don’t You Understand?

Posted in Baseball at 4:12 pm by

As the 2014 MLB Trade Deadline has come and gone, far removed from the blockbusters that saw such leading lights as Jon Lester and David Price change uniforms are the New York Mets, who proved to be neither sellers (of Bartolo Colon or Daniel Murphy) or buyers (of Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzales).  With GM Sandy Alderson (above) missing an opportunity to stockpile young talent while dumping Colon, or conversely, take solid aim at contention in 2015 with the addition of the proven Tulowitzki, unless your name is Ruben Amaro, you’d have every right to wonder “what the fuck is going on”? However, as the far more calm and collected Howard Megdal of Capital New York reminds us, what’s going on is pretty much the same thing that’s been going on every season of the post-Bernie Madoff era (ie. player development aside, very little).

Taking the sum of where the Mets are at this point, it’s easier than ever to see the Mets as one or two key acquisitions away from making a real run at the pennant.

The question, and the whole basis for any serious conversation about Tulowitzki, is whether ownership’s financial problems make such acquisitions close to impossible.

Alderson is finished pretending that the next spending spree is around the corner. The party line is now that as soon as the fans start showing up again, the Mets will spend, a ludicrous blame-the-fans strategy for the predicament the team is in because ownership is spending their excess television revenue to stay afloat financially.

If the Mets had an ability to spend money like the rest of the league, let alone near the top of it, they could afford to make trades like this. They could deal some of their prospects, secure in the knowledge that they were adding the relative certainty of in-prime superstars. (If Tulowitzki’s injury history is an unknown, what on earth do we call the incredibly high attrition and failure rate of pitching prospects?)

Yet Another Commercial Message From The Entertainment Division of Cumbucket Media :

Posted in 12XU, Austin, XETAS at 1:13 pm by


(photo by Alison Copeland)

A number of years ago, E Street Band guitarist / thespian / radio programmer Little Steven Van Zandt penned an open letter to bands playing an open-air NYC festival, advising the trios on the bill to strongly considering drafting in auxiliary guitarists, keyboard players, tambourine players, heck even interpretative dancers ala Bez or Guy Picciotto. As Van Zandt explained, the traditional classic rock template consisted of singer/guitarist/bassist/drummer and/or singer/two guitarists/bassist/drummer. Trios, concluded Little Steven, simply lacked the oomph-to-get-the-job-done.

(OK, I’m embellishing a bit. I don’t think he’s familiar with Bez).

I could list a number of historical reasons why he was full of shit, but let’s not dwell on the past. I’ve never used the phrase “dollars to donuts” before but I’m betting dollars AND donuts such narrow notions of who is or isn’t legit are reduced to rubble by Austin’s XETAS. Since their formation in early 2014, the threesome have quickly established themselves as a ridiculously great live band, but the enclosed Ian Rundell-recorded debut hints at the sort of musical range & ambition you’d associate with a group not nearly as new (or hellbent on maintaining anonymity). Tempting though it may be to claim XETAS are walking the tightrope-between-heavy-and-catchy, there’s no acknowledgement said tightrope even exists (SUCK ON THAT, WALLENDA FAMILY). Simply put, there’s songcraft to spare, though there’s few modern examples that hit nearly this hard.

It’s probable you’ve seen all 3 of ‘em toiling in other Austin bands ; guitarist/vocalist D has popped up in Debt, Neighbor, The Gory Details and more recently playing bass in The Gospel Truth, bassist/vocalist K in Foreign Mothers, drummer M in Brain Attack and Debt respectively.

There’s a autumn ’14 tour in the works and a monster debut album planned for early 2015.

Preorder “The Silence” b/w “The Knife” here.


Dan Le Batard’s Narrowly Avoids The Lamest Crowd Funding Initiative Of All Time…

Posted in Basketball, Sports Radio, The Marketplace at 9:41 pm by

…and considering that history of high-tech begging includes the Dino Costa documentary and an upcoming Venus Illuminato release, that’s really saying something.  Romenesko.com reports ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard’s attempt to place the above advertisement — using his listeners’ money — was refbuffed by a pair of Ohio newspapers.

Akron Beacon Journal publisher Mark Cohen, who rejected the ad on the right, tells his paper: “I just don’t think it was appropriate for our community. We’re proud that LeBron is back, this is his hometown, and that [ad] is not something we want to be a part of or want to take money for.

Le Batard, who was hoping to buy the ad space with Kickstarter contributions, says the Plain Dealer also rejected the ad. “They have declined our money.”

I’m told a full-page Beacon Journal ad costs about $12,000; Le Batard said on his show that the PD ad would cost about $90,000.

Tony Schiavone Doppelgänger Finds The Satantic Incantations In Backwards Music (Played Forwards)

Posted in Religion, Rock Und Roll at 7:13 pm by

file the above under “cheap excuse just to use that headline (finally)”  (link via Boing Boing)


MLB’s Licensing Division, Unavailable For Comment

Posted in Baseball, Fashion, Racism Corner at 11:56 pm by

Earlier this year, A Tribe Called Red’s DJ NDN caught flack for donning a “Caucasians” tee that appropriated the Cleveland Indians’ much derided Chief Wahoo.  On Tuesday, The Star.com’s Peter Edwards reports the same shirt has become the summer’s hot fashion item on Ontario’s First Nations reserves, with Six Nations Of The Grand River’s Terra Bomberry declaring, “People’s reaction has been all positive and they see the humour in it both on and off the reserve,”

“I thought how hypocritical that he would be accused of racism for wearing a shirt that turns the tables in a satirical way of how our image as native people has been misappropriated by the Cleveland Indians, Washington Redskins and the like,” Bomberry said.

She noted there’s an online movement that includes use of the Twitter hashtag #NotYourMascot to change what she called degrading and derogatory team names and logos.

“I have read comments of some of the fans of those sports teams who say they are ‘honouring’ us with those images,” Bomberry said. “So I have to say unequivocally I do not feel honoured by those outdated, offensive team mascots and names, and think its time they be changed. And if we can draw attention to that by turning the tables using a bit of humour then why not?

Deejay NDN, who was born Ian Campeau, had earlier filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission to protest the name of the Nepean Redskins football team, which he said was offensive to First Nations people. The team changed its name to Eagles after the complaint.

When The “I Couldn’t Hold It In” Excuse Doesn’t Fly : Modell Grave Pisser Pinched

Posted in Gridiron at 6:40 pm by

Days after the Baltimore Sun reported Baltimore County police were investigating a YouTube clip of a self-proclaimed Browns fan urinating on Art Modell’s grave site, an arrest has been announced in this case-of-the-century, as WJZ TV’s Rochelle Ritchie explains :

“I want to commend the Baltimore County Police Department for doing outstanding work in identifying the suspect involved in this case,” said Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger in a statement. “Everyone who has buried a loved one has the right to believe that their final resting place will be treated with respect. Bringing charges against this individual should act as a deterrent to others and assure the rest of us that no matter who you are, indecencies will not be committed against your final resting place.”

In Maryland, Criminal Law Article 10-404(c) states: “a person may not engage in indecent or disorderly conduct in a cemetery.” This crime is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of two years in jail and a fine of $500.

Baltimore County police say the suspect is not yet in custody and it may take a few days to serve his arrest warrant since he is currently living in Ohio.


Suddenly, Being Associated With The Unification Church Doesn’t Seem So Bad

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Journalism at 11:35 pm by

On no fewer than a dozen occasions in CSTB’s rich history, I’ve referred to the Washington Times as a “Moonie Paper” due to the publication’s ties to Rev. Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church. On Monday, the Times announced a new partnership with a person far less charismatic and admired than Moon ; they’re now “marketing and content partners” with Daniel Snyder’s Washington Redskins.

Under the partnership, the Redskins and the Times will collaborate on unique content offerings throughout the year designed to provide Redskins fans with compelling, timely and unique coverage.

The offerings will include a weekly “Redskins Weekend Game Guide,” which will wrap the front page of the Times’ print edition each Friday during the NFL season and a new free digital magazine called “The Redskins Report,” which will showcase exclusive content about the Redskins. Both features are expected to launch in August.

In addition, Times’ sports reporters, such as Thom Loverro and Zac Boyer, will provide commentary and analysis on selected Redskins‘ radio and TV shows and also appear on the team’s online pregame show and the halftime shows. The halftime show also appears on FedExField’s HD video boards during halftime.


WaPo’s Jenkins On Stephen A Smith : Shame About The Chairshots

Posted in "Wife Beater" Is Not A Fashion Statement, Gridiron, Sports TV at 6:28 pm by

As “First Take” co-mouthpiece Stephen A. Smith continues his attempts to clarify/retract comments from last week regarding the ways female assault victims might “provoke” such attacks, the Washington Post’s Sally Jenkins has had about enough, observing, “some guys can sound so dumb you’d think they had a chair broken over their head, but the first element of provocation a woman should avoid is calling them on it, whether it’s an NFL official justifying a two-game penalty for a running-back going all Flintstone on his wife, or an ESPN announcer who holds your cable subscription hostage while he tries to string two sentences together.”

The NFL seems to feel the same way as Stephen A. Smith, who said in 2012 when Chad Johnson got caught head-butting his wife, “There are plenty of instances where provocation comes into consideration, instigation comes into consideration, and I will be on the record right here on national television and say that I am sick and tired of men constantly being vilified.” Or as he tweeted when Floyd Mayweather was charged with domestic violence, “Let’s not discount the women out there who want someone like Mayweather strictly for the cash. Men ain’t wrong always.”

What you’re supposed to do for these Lords of the Loco is just put on pink rabbit ears and play nightclub hostess. Also, learn how to escape from a car trunk. Every woman should know how to get out of a car trunk, and if you don’t, it’s your own fault.

What Smith’s apology demonstrates is that half the time he doesn’t understand what he said any more than we do.


Without Phil Mushnick, Who’d Be Left To Speak Up For Decrepit White Male Billionaries?

Posted in Basketball, Racism Corner at 11:33 pm by

Other than Dino Costa, that is. NY Post sports media critic Phil Mushnick has already demonstrated he’s willing to take an unpopular stance when it comes to embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling (above, right). Actually, he’s demonstrated as much multiple times.

On Sunday, Phil took exception to claims of Sterling suffering from dementia (a suggestion first floated by, uh, Phil Mushnick) having been “dismissed quickly and harshly as both a lousy excuse and an inadmissible defense.”

His bigoted conversation was spoken into the ear of his 30-year-old “girlfriend” — a glamorous, dubious character who changed her name from Maria Vanessa Perez to V. Stiviano. She enjoyed taking walks with Sterling, particularly into expensive shops where he would buy her “things.”

Although, while merrily appearing on national TV shows, she expressed her great fondness for Sterling, she was eager to destroy him by covertly recording that private chat, then passing along the ruinous recording until it reached the scandal-thirsty TV show “TMZ.”

That Sterling confused his relationship with this young woman with — good grief! — romance, tells a tale of a delusional old man, if not one afflicted, at 80, by dementia. But given the issue was immediately branded “racial,” there was nothing else to consider.

Doc Rivers, the Clippers’ coach, last week said he won’t coach the team if Sterling, via legal action, retains ownership of the team. How noble.

But would Rivers, any of his players, or any public figure spotlessly survive having his or her private conversations with intimates released to the public?

And why, if Sterling’s a full-blooded racist, would he own an NBA team, let alone hire a black coach? Why a Hispanic girlfriend — real or imagined?

Interesting question. I mean, if someone was a full-blooded racist, why would they own a plantation? Or more to the point, why would a non-racist have to pay nearly $3 million dollars to settle a housing discrimination suit? Why would a non-racist so gleefully show off his naked employees, inviting onlookers to gaze at “those beautiful black bodies”?

Still, Mushnick has a point with the girlfriend question. Sterling’s got a strong track record as the last of the true romantics.