Good thing there’s nobody in the sportswriting profession with a drinking and/or zipper problem. Two days after Dallas Morning News colleague Evan Grant adopted a strangely sneery tone in covering Josh Hamilton’s latest setback, colleague Tim Colishaw takes to the same paper’s pages to wonder if Hamilton and former manager Ron Washington’s respective tenures in baseball are over (“I don’t know if it’s time to say we’ll never again see either man in a major league uniform. Seems too soon for that, but sometimes you wonder”)
Washington wants a job but has he really come clean as to why he quit on his team last September? You always prefer to take a man at his word. But if one night of infidelity chased him away from the game — and he almost certainly would be the first if that’s true — why didn’t his positive test for cocaine send him running years before?
I think someone could hire Washington as a coach and maybe next season. But it’s hard to envision unless he’s willing to be more forthcoming.
If you require some precedent in a manager bailing on his players and finding another job soon afterwards, look no futher than journeyman skipper Jim Riggleman, who resigned as Nationals manager in the middle of an 11-1, June 2011 run. The following spring, he was managing the Reds’ Pensacola (AA) affiliate, their Triple A club in Louisville a year later. This February, Riggleman’s in Cincinnati camp as the Reds’ third base coach.
When you’re done comparing the two situations, consider their managerial resumes. Washington went to the the World Series twice. None of Riggleman’s 4 MLB clubs made the playoffs. Riggleman compiled 2 winning seasons out of 12 ; Washington won 90 games or more 4 times. But Wash is the one who’s unemployable. Maybe that’s because, as Colishaw alludes, he’s got a skeleton in the closet much, much worse, than say, Jim Riggleman throwing a fit over his perceived market value.
Anthony Mason took the ball to the hole with all the elegance of a tractor-trailer going over a cliff. A goddamn wrecking ball in shorts that drove opponents (and often his own coach, Pat Riley) bonkers. A summary of his stats/career achievements won’t even come close to explaining how much Knicks fans loved him. Manufacturers of ice packs and heating pads will raise a glass in his honor and when I’m done crying, so will I.
Who amongst us hasn’t stayed awake late at night wondering where Pittsburgh Pirates ownership, management and players stand on the issue of the Islamic State and their horrible executions? I for one have always wondered, if, for instance, Andrew McCutcheon or Neil Walker weren’t closet ISIL sympathizers, if for no other reason than the lawless iconography typified by the Pirates’ club colors and logo.
Fortunately, the club has put such fears to rest on Friday, making it very clear that the Pirates cap sported by the infamous Mohammed Emwazi aka Jihadi John— alleged executioner of James Foley amongst others — was not sanctioned by the team (or presumably, MLB). From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Aaron Aupperlee :
The British news outlet Sky News broadcast a photo of Emwazi, who is linked to several Islamic State beheading videos, wearing a black ball cap with a yellow Pirates “P” on it.
The photo is from when the 26-year-old Briton studied at the University of Westminster.
“The classic gold P stands for Pittsburgh and is worn by our players, coaches and fans with a great sense of pride,” the Pirates wrote in a statement released Friday afternoon. “It is absolutely sickening to everyone within the Pirates organization, and to our great fans, to see this murderer wearing a Pirates cap in this old photo.”
The Fiver’s Paul Doyle describes the above atrocity as an instance of “Liverpool innocently using its position as a much-admired sporting institution to help flog junk food to kids, while Dunkin’ Donuts unwittingly went and polluted the memory of the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy.” And as you might expect, apologies followed.
Fortunately, Dunkin’ Donuts didn’t get where they are today – which is just about everywhere – by not having someone on hand with a bucket and mop to wipe up any unpleasantness before someone slips in it and does more costly damage. “We apologise for any insensitivity regarding our tweet supporting an LFC-themed promotion featuring the LFC crest,” simpered Dunkin’ Donuts after deleting its tweet featuring an altered version of the Liverpool crest in which the Hillsborough eternal flames had been replaced by what appeared to be milkshakes, just like the ones Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling don’t drink on a regular basis. The crest also wrote over ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ with the similarly inspiring ‘America runs on Dunkin’’, though evidently there was not enough room to complete the new legend with ‘’but not very far before breaking down and wheezing like a pimply slob”.
In a statement to the Liverpool Echo, the company confirmed that it had deemed the campaign not fit enough to continue. “As a proud partner of LFC, we did not intend any offence, particularly to the club’s supporters,” read the statement. “We have removed the tweet and halted the campaign immediately.”
“As someone who merely publishes articles online, I can’t remember the last day someone somewhere didn’t remind me how stupid I am, or invite me to dislodge my head from my ass,” muses The Daily Beast’s Luke O’Neil. “This obviously increases exponentially with a bigger profile.” One such bigger profile would be that of ESPN late night host (the oft-traveled) Keith Olbermann, who on Wednesday was hit with a three day suspension after an ill-advised Twitter spat with a Penn State student. If you’re wondering why Olbermann would risk further damage to his reputation over such small stakes — keep in mind, some find said behavior totally within character — O’Neill sought out some expert opinions :
Since places like Twitter level the playing field of conversation, “It can be extremely galling for a certain type of person to be criticized by his ‘inferiors’ in a public arena,” says Boston Globe advice columnist and research psychology PhD Robin Abrahams.
“And now this exchange, the first and last interesting thing in your life, is at an end,” he tweeted to one of the many PSU supporters who’d gathered outside the ogre’s hovel, evidence of the type of digital dick-measuring often at work here.
That self-perception, and hyper-sensitivity to sleights can be common amongst the powerful, generally speaking, says James Niels Rosenquist, PhD, MD and psychiatrist at Mass General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
“The first thing to recognize when talking about people in a position of power: One consistent theme in psychological studies is people who crave attention in general, and approval,” says Niels.
That’s why he thinks Twitter is the perfect storm of confluences when it comes to servicing this need.
“It’s a quick hit, if you will, and the parallels to drug use are very similar.”
The rollercoaster ride of Angels OF Josh Hamilton took a rather precipitous drop with Ken Rosenthal’s revelation the celebrated reprobate is facing a likely MLB suspension for something “worse” than PED’s. Though this might be an opportune time to send one’s thoughts to the Hamilton family, the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant — awfully familiar with Hamilton’s tenure in Arlington — chose a somewhat different tact, instead reassuring Rangers fans they’re better off without the guy.
By the looks of everything, the Angels weren’t counting on much from Hamilton this year, anyway. He waited all winter to have shoulder surgery, then underwent a procedure in early February that will likely keep him out until May. He wasn’t even in spring training and doesn’t currently have a locker in the Angels’ clubhouse, but has rather been rehabbing at a friend’s ranch outside of Houston. The Angels, according to the Times, agreed to the odd arrangement, which might be a clue the club feels its less of a distraction to have Hamilton gone.
Now, you can go ahead and laugh.
In the first two-years of a back-loaded, five-year, $125 million deal, Hamilton managed a .255 average, .316 OBP and .741 OPS with 31 homers. By comparison, Mitch Moreland of the Rangers has a .235 average, .299 OBP and .712 OPS with 25 homers in 300 fewer plate appearances for about one-tenth of Hamilton’s salary. He alienated management over those two seasons and that was before the shoulder issue.
And we haven’t even mentioned the decision by Hamilton’s wife, Katie, to join the cast of “Real Housewives of Orange County.”
It all adds up to a very awkward situation for the Angels that would produce only one potential positive outcome for the club: the removal of Josh Hamilton from the picture.
Sportscaster Dale Hansen is no stranger to delivering editorials that run counter to some folks’ expectations of what you’d hear from (in his words), “a big, fat old guy from Dallas, Texas”. That said, in chiming Monday night on the recent display of signs reading “White” & “Power” during a Flower Mound vs. Plano East high school basketball contest, Hansen spoke frankly about the danger of turning a blind eye to such stupidity, but not without detailing his own racial ignorance and how his perspective has changed.
It’s the sort of thing you’re not gonna see on many TV news programs, let alone in the time allotted for sports. Compare and contrast Hansen’s editorial with the work of the Cleveland Fox morning host who insists she was unfamiliar with the slur, “jigaboo” (after using it on live TV) ; the former will likely not see his clip circulated nearly as much this week, and that’s a shame.
Pawtucket, RI’s McCoy Stadium has hosted minor league baseball for nearly 70 years, most prominently in the form of Boston’s International League affiliate. Site of a 33 inning Pawtucket/Rochester game that took more than two months to complete in 1981, McCoy is now in jeopardy of losing the Red Sox to neighboring Providence, a switch Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien claims was a fait accompli, thanks in part to one of the PawSox’s new owners, Larry Lucchino. From the Providence Journal’s John Hill (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory) :
“I can’t tell you half of what they said, because when they said, ‘It’s not going to be Pawtucket,’ that just took the air out of the room,” Grebien said.
They mayor declined to discuss any of the specifics of the new ownership’s plans, or even who they were, saying that was up to them to reveal.
The PawSox signed a new lease just about a year ago that was supposed to keep the team in McCoy through 2021, with a five-year extension after that. But that lease is with the state, not the city, Grebien said, so Pawtucket appears to have few legal options if it wanted to fight to keep the team in the city.
Greiben said the new owners talked about wanting a location with transportation access, to be in an urban setting and be a place were they could create destination type facility.