If a manager receiving a vote of confidence from his club’s GM is commonly thought to be a dreaded occasion, receiving a very public vote of no-confidence-whatsoever probably goes down as super dreaded. And that’s what happened Thursday in Baltimore when Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos was quizzed about the status of Toronto skipper John Gibbons. “I don’t know what’s going to happen next year,” mumbled Anthopoulos to the assembled media throng. “I don’t know what’s going to happen with me. I don’t know what Alex, what his plan is.” Yeah, really, who of us can really predict the future? From the National Post’s John Lott :
Someone referred to Gibbons’ remark and asked the GM if he would “take care of” the manager’s job security before the end of the season.
“He’s under contract,” Anthopoulos replied. “He’s always under contract, pretty much. I don’t think there’s anything to take care of, and I think he’s done a good job.”
He’s done a good job. So he will be the manager next year?
“He’s under contract,” Anthopoulos repeated, and here’s where things started to get a bit murky.
“I’ve said this before,” Anthopoulos said. “I’m a big believer that no matter what position — grounds crew, administrative assistant, manager, coach — you support them until you don’t support them.”
Kansas City’s 6-2 defeat of Chicago Wednesday night included Royals fans displaying a Japanese flag in the outfield stands in tribute to OF Nori Aoki. Troube is, as the KC Star pointed out, “it was the flag Japan used in World War II…the Rising Sun flag is known to symbolize Japan’s military, which attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 and occupied Korea from 1910-45.”
For a mere $39.99 (marked down from $60), Touch Of Modern will sell you the above Citi Field blueprint, featuring “hand-drawn artwork of the park including a plan view, signature elevation view, and architectural details.” I am certain none of this blog’s readers would dream of using such materials in the planning or commission of a violent and/or treasonous act that may or may not bring a particularly evil regime to their knees.
Shropshire’s AFC Telford compete in the Conference Premier, the highest tier in English non-league football, but the lofty heights of last season’s Conference North championship campaign are but a distant memory after a Tuesday evening defeat at Alferton Town, a performance that led manager Liam Watson to declare his charges, well, useless. From the BBC :
“It was totally gutless. I told one or two in the changing room that they can go. I told them ‘go and get yourself a club’,” Watson told BBC Shropshire.
“It was just cowardly and embarrassing. Five or six of them looked out of their depth. They don’t look up to it.”
After seeing his side go in 3-1 down at the break at Alfreton, Watson labelled it “the worst 45 minutes since I’ve been Telford manager, probably of my managerial career”.
He continued: “They were jumping out of tackles. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was shambolic, weak defending.
“They are looking miles out of their depth. They’ve got no heart.”
In the considered view of Yahoo Sports’ David Brown, “excessive swearing should never be tolerated, especially with kids around.” But enough about Wally Backman’s poor prospects of ever becoming Mets manager, telling Bryce Harper that he “fucking sucks” is considered grounds for ejection (provided your seats are close enough that umpires and microphones can hear you).
Why not sign Darren Sharper? The former Vikings safety has been accused of sexual assault in three states, but not in Minnesota. He may be able to intercept a few passes between trials.
The Vikings are hiding behind the phrase “due process,’’ which refers to a citizen’s rights in our legal system. “Due process’’ has nothing to do with a company deciding whether it wants to be publicly represented by a man who has admitted to police that he whipped a 4-year-old with a branch until the boy bled, after stuffing leaves in the boy’s mouth and before threatening to punch him if he told anyone.
Sunday, the Wilfs will cheer for Peterson while waving their shredded code of conduct. Evolved Minnesotans should cheer for any Saints defender who may want to stage an impromptu intervention with the big man who beat the little boy.
WFAN announced yesterday that longtime Yankees radio fixtures John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman will return for the 2015 season, with someone who closely resembles one of our most beloved contributors saying of the pair, “they’re friends, they’re great people and they’re part of the Yankee brand.” If that sounds like a less than thorough endorsement for the duo’s chances of winning individual Ford C. Frick Awards, check out Newsday’s Neil Best delivering the damning faint criticism :
Of course it would be nice if Sterling waited for balls to clear the fence before announcing home runs – something for which he remains unapologetic, preferring, he says, to be ahead of calls rather than behind them.
It also would be helpful if he struck a better balance between shtick and game description, and if he let Waldman handle some play-by-play. (Either way, WFAN at some point ought to wedge a younger potential successor into the play-by-play mix to ease the future transition.)
But let’s face it, after 26 seasons without missing a game, Sterling is woven into the fabric of Yankee-land, from his goofy antics to his signature home run calls. And like him or not, he will be missed when he is gone.
And let’s face this, too: While Waldman herself is unconventional and subject to caricature, she also might be the only possible partner for Sterling at this stage. She is a team player who helps smooth the rough edges of Sterling’s mis-calls and patiently puts up with his idiosyncrasies.
Minneapolis’ WCCO.com reports that Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson has been indicted by a North Montgomery County, TX grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child. AP’s status for Sunday versus New England has yet to be clarified, but you have to assume give the events of the past several weeks, the NFL must be aware this has the appearance of a very high profile case of domestic violence.
Sports Radio 610 in Houston obtained a draft of the police report which says Peterson admitted that he did, in his words, “whoop” one of his children last May while the boy was visiting him in Houston.
When the 4-year-old boy returned to Minnesota, his mother took him to a doctor. The police report said the boy told the doctor Peterson had hit him with a branch from a tree.
The doctor told investigators that the boy had a number of lacerations on his thighs, along with bruise-like marks on his lower back and buttocks and cuts on his hand.
The police report says the doctor described some of the marks as open wounds and termed it “child abuse.” Another examiner agreed, calling the cuts “extensive.”
When investigators questioned Peterson, they say he told them he regarded it as a normal spanking and not excessive.
The beating allegedly resulted in numerous injuries to the child, including cuts and bruises to the child’s back, buttocks, ankles, legs and scrotum, along with defensive wounds to the child’s hands. Peterson then texted the boy’s mother, saying that one wound in particular would make her “mad at me about his leg. I got kinda good wit the tail end of the switch.”
Peterson also allegedly said via text message to the child’s mother that he “felt bad after the fact when I notice the switch was wrapping around hitting I (sic) thigh” and also acknowledged the injury to the child’s scrotum in a text message, saying, “Got him in nuts once I noticed. But I felt so bad, n I’m all tearing that butt up when needed! I start putting them in timeout. N save the whooping for needed memories!”
In further text messages, Peterson allegedly said, “Never do I go overboard! But all my kids will know, hey daddy has the biggie heart but don’t play no games when it comes to acting right.
The New York Post’s Tara Palmeri reports that Cablevision/MSG CEO James Dolan’s oft-ridiculed generic “blues”/rock combo, JD & The Straight Shot, will support the Eagles at the World’s Most Dysfunctional Arena this Saturday night. Dolan, who has previously opened for the Eagles at Met Life Stadium and made thoroughly unwelcome appearances at the Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits Festivals (ATP has remained elusive, however), generally won’t discuss his handling of the New York Knicks with local media, but happily told Palmeri, “the artist in me needs to be free”.
“I’m entitled to my opinion,” he said. “I am not the chairman, CEO, etc., standing up there on that stage. I am the singer-songwriter.”
Dolan seems to have made himself the Springsteen for the 1 percent — a Boss who complains about taxes and lambastes politicians who have crossed him personally, such as ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
His ballad “Fall from Grace” is based on the disgraced love gov, with lyrics such as: “See the shame on your face/Look at what you’ve become/And smiling at your fall from grace.”
The lyrical diss was inspired by a nasty fight the two had over relocating the Garden in 2008.
“He [Spitzer] threatened me at the meeting,” Dolan said. “We were figuring we were going to have a big fight, and on Monday he started not being the governor anymore.”
In another ditty, “Governor’s Song,” Dolan takes a pot shot at Mayor de Blasio for not caring about the “1 percent.”
“If you dare to call the mayor, taxes got your goat, well he don’t care,” he warbles. “Cause you’re a millionaire, and he didn’t get your vote.”
On Thursday, Awful Announcing’s Sarah Sprague sought to compare and contrast the amount of journalistic range afforded women in the sports media trade (ie. not much) with the freewheelin’ Ufford’s widely lauded, “PEOPLE VS. THE NFL : AFTER AN OFFSEASON IN WHICH THE NFL GOT ALMOST EVERYTHING WRONG, A LIFELONG FAN REFLECTS ON SHAME, LOVE, FATHERHOOD, AND THE FUTURE OF THE LEAGUE” published by SB Nation, but not without disclosing, “Ufford and I both write at the NFL humor site Kissing Suzy Kolber, but our interaction is minimal at best.” So there’s some silver lining.
I winced before I was done with the slug line describing what was to come in the piece. Fatherhood. Ufford was now joining the ranks of male sportswriters who were going to tell us what it all meant in the context of their child, a ploy I find repelling. Ufford’s piece was well-written, but once the reader reached the final chapter in the post titled “Hope,” one could not help but brace for the pap that was coming. Words that in my heart of hearts, I know that if a female sportswriter had put them to keyboard they would have been seen as soft, not on point, and probably one of the worst insults, like a Mommy Blogger.
Male sportswriters live in a world where having emotions allows them to continue the chain of sports being a father-child activity and roundly get praised for writing so honestly, Pam Oliver speaking honestly is humiliated. Male emotions get heralded as a concession for having them in the first place like a normal human being.
In the immediate aftermath of the attacks on New York and Washington DC that occurred on September 11, 2001, Olympia’s Unwound were forced to cancel their show that night at Cambridge, MA’s Middle East.
Perhaps recognizing the adage, “if you don’t create an Unwound show with cardboard cut-outs in place of Justin, Vern and Sarah, the terrorists have already won,” the below video clip was produced.
Leave it to New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon (above, left) to murder the good vibes generated by the club’s unlikely late run at .500. The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir reports that self-styled ballpark architect / genetic lottery loser winner Wilpon is the target of a discrimination suit alleging the Mets fired ticket executive Leigh Castergine for being pregnant out of wedlock.
Castergine said Wilpon fired her last month in retaliation for complaining about him to the team’s human resources department. Among other things, she said Wilpon told her that “when she gets a ring, she will make more money and get a bigger bonus.”
Castergine, who was hired after the 2010 season, said in her court papers that she modernized the team’s ticket-sales operation, received raises of $50,000 in both 2012 and 2013 and a $125,000 bonus in 2013, and earned a promotion to senior vice president
She described an environment in which she quoted Wilpon saying at a meeting: “I am as morally opposed to putting an e-cigarette sign in my ballpark as I am to Leigh having this baby without being married.” She said that higher-level executives did nothing about Wilpon’s remarks and that the head of human resources urged her to quit.
Unprompted, Alderson told the group of veterans there have been discussions within the organization about reducing the distance to right-center field. At the new, unspecified distance, he said, Granderson would have seven additional home runs this season.
“It’s something that we had talked about the possibility in the past and we continue to look at it,” said Alderson. “We brought the fences in a couple years ago. It’s not about tailoring the ballpark to a particular player or a particular composition of team, it’s about making Citi Field as fan-friendly and as exciting as we can make it.”
Alderson’s 90-win goal in spring training was his way of creating excitement, serving a reminder that what has been the norm doesn’t need to remain the norm. He is approaching next season no differently.
“It really wasn’t a prediction, it was about thinking differently,” Alderson said. “If you’re going to set a goal, you need to set a goal not that you can just achieve easily. You have to set a goal that’s aspirational.”
Prior to the Mets’ 2-0 dispatch of the Rockies — a result that improved the former’s post-All Star Break mark to a heady .500 —- Terry Collins was quoted by MetsBlog as being in favor of bringing the fences in (““I think it’s going to help us a little bit, confidence-wise…I think it would be great for us.”) So if this decision was such a no-brainer, when are we graced with an admission from ownership that they tore down a perfectly functioning stadium to make way for an overpriced beer garden that’s actually played a role in killing the Mets’ offense?
My flight to NYC this morning features a screening of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm”. I’m tired, the picture is blurry and I don’t really wanna go to the effort of putting on headphones, not when I can look at the display every 10-15 minutes and try to imagine the dialogue.
“SO LET ME GET THIS RIGHT….YOU’VE GOT A GUY WITH A MILLION DOLLAR ARM? SIGN ME UP. THAT SOUNDS GREAT.”
“I’M TELLING YOU, THIS GUY IS SUPPOSED TO HAVE A MILLON DOLLAR ARM. THAT’S A VERY EXPENSIVE ARM. I THINK WE NEED TO CHECK THIS OUT”
“WAIT JUST A MINUTE. THERE’S TWO GUYS THROWING BASEBALLS. WHICH ONE OF THEM IS THE ONE WITH THE MILLION DOLLAR ARM? WE DON’T HAVE TIME TO BE DEALING WITH ANY HALF MILLION DOLLAR ARMS”
“MRS. MOTHER OF THE BASEBALL THROWER – LET ME TAKE YOUR SON TO AMERICA, SO THAT WE CAN PROPERLY ASSESS THE TRUE VALUE OF HIS ARM. IF INDEED, IT IS WORTH A MILLION DOLLARS, WE’LL CHOP IT OFF AND SEND IT BACK TO YOU”
PF/C Marvin Barnes, who led Providence to the Final Four in 1973 and was the 2nd overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft (instead signing with the ABA’s St. Louis Spirits), passed away earlier today at the age of 62. A young Bob Costas did play by play for the Spirits in those days, and this conversation with St. Louis Magazine’s William Powell (7/19/13) he recalls Barnes’ most famous off-court incident :
The Spirits had future Hall of Famers like Moses Malone and streetballers like Fly Williams. But the biggest character was Marvin “Bad News” Barnes. Do you have a favorite story about him?
The one that people most frequently want to hear is the one from Kentucky, the morning after another loss at Freedom Hall in Louisville to the very strong Kentucky Colonels. Teams didn’t travel by charter then, so we meet at the airport for the commercial flight back to St. Louis. The traveling secretary, who also was the trainer, hands out the itinerary. It reads, “TWA Flight 305. Depart Louisville, 8 a.m. Arrive St. Louis, 7:56.” And Marvin Barnes walks over to me, holding the sheet of paper in his hand, looks down at me from a foot above me, drapes his arm around my shoulder, brandishes this itinerary, and says, “Bro, bro, bro, I do not know about you, but as for me, I am not getting on any time machine.”
Now, some people took that to mean that Marvin was dopey and confused, but Marvin was actually smart. I mean, he was self-destructive beyond belief, but he wasn’t dumb. He knew full well that he was saying something funny. But he was staying in character to do it.
Kilmeade criticized domestic violence victims for sending a “terrible message” by staying with their abusers, and clearly he’s done all sorts of reading on the subject. It’s the sort of inelegant victim-blaming you usually have to go to the comments section of a local newspaper website to find, though perhaps the burden of sending messages out to be down to highly paid public figures like Rice and the persons who employ him. Rather than, y’know, a woman he’s battered.