10.30.15

If The Mets & MLB Won’t Do Anything To Stop This Shamless Electioneering…

Posted in Baseball, politics at 10:51 pm by

…then nobody’s gonna get in the way of my “BOBBY SOXX 2016″ placard tomorrow night!

The End Of Not One Austin Institution, But Two

Posted in Austin, record collector disease at 5:10 pm by

The above Yelp review from 2012 referencing a Youthful Masturbation Techniques performance at Trailer Space reminds me that we’re saying g’bye to Trailer Space and Johnathan Cash on the same weekend. The performance in question, much like the host venue, was greatly misinterpreted (maybe they don’t stock fluffernutter in this part of the country, I don’t really know). Anyone with eyes and ears and half a brain could tell you that Trailer Space was not a haven for animal cruelty (quite the opposite, as several dogs would testify if allowed) just as Mr. Cash (as the New York Times will someday call him) will go down in history/flames as one of this city’s premier provocateurs.

Austin = not dead. not even on life support. But some folks are leaving big shoes to fill.

10.29.15

Mets Denied Opportunity Of Blaming Gov. Cuomo For Jinxing 2015 World Series

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York, politics at 10:05 pm by

(T.C., just relieved he’s not meeting Jim Breuer)

Full credit to Mets ownership ; they’ve somehow managed to take the heat off David Wright. The New York Times’ Jesse McKinley reports New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has scrapped plans to hold a pair of $5,500-a-head fund-raisers in the Citi Field parking lot this weekend :

The $5,500 price tag — the equivalent of about 850 hot dogs on an average night at Citi Field — included a pregame reception with the governor, who earlier this week used a private jet with the Mets owners, Fred and Jeff Wilpon, to attend the first game of the Series in Kansas City, Mo. (The Mets lost in 14 innings, and the governor’s Albany press office said Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, stayed until the end and would reimburse the cost of the flight at “fair market value.”)

As for the fund-raisers, Mr. Cuomo’s campaign said that the cancellation was a result of “overwhelming demand for tickets,” and that aides had decided to “reschedule this weekend’s events to a future date so that more tickets are available.” When such a fund-raiser would take place is uncertain, but the campaign said it would not be during the Series, in which the Mets — who are making their first appearance in the Fall Classic since 2000 — trail two games to none.

10.28.15

Former Vikes Punter To SXSW : You’re Cowards

Posted in Austin, Gridiron, South By Suck Off, Technical Difficulties, Video Games at 5:54 pm by

As you’ve probably read elsewhere, SXSW Interactive, in their infinite wisdom, opted to pull the plug on a pair of scheduled panels — one of ‘em titled, “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment In Games” — citing safety concerns after receiving threats. If you think this sounds an awful lot like kowtowing to (mountain dew guzzling, fedora-wearing) terrorists, you’re not alone. The shy, retiring Chris Kluwe has joined the fray via The Cauldron :

First off, the panel was not on Gamergate, did not mention Gamergate, and the only tangential relation it had with Gamergate was that the odorous denizens of that particular hashtag have made it their mission to try and ruin the lives of the women involved in the panel (among others). The fact you felt the need to connect it to Gamergate shows quite clearly where the pressure to silence these voices came from.

Second, and perhaps more pertinently, you run a festival that features A-list celebrities and tech magnates worth collective billions, superstar athletes, and some of the biggest music acts in the world, and you’re telling me you can’t provide security for a panel of three women? That it’s beyond your resources to hire any sort of police presence when you shut down entire sections of Austin at a time? That the unceasing vitriol these brave individuals face on a daily basis is just too much for your tender feelings to deal with, when you’ve experienced the merest fraction of that torrent of filth they’re forced to endure?

You disgust me. Your selfish weakness sickens me. Your puling bleats of golden mean fallacies fills my stomach with such nauseous rage that an entire continent of antacid tablets would be insufficient to quell the depths of my contempt for you.

What you did, what you’re doing, is providing the blueprint for harassers and hatemongers as to how they win. From this point forward, any fringe group of spiteful lunatics can point to this moment and say, “We will silence the voices of anyone we dislike at SXSW, any view we disagree with, because we know the mewling slugs in charge have not the backbone to stop us. All we need to do is confront them with our vileness, and they will fold.”

Stewart Klein : A Possible Cure For The Ineptitude Of Michael Cuddyer

Posted in Baseball at 5:14 pm by

Video clip courtesy Jon Solomon.

10.27.15

Shame On You, Lenny Dykstra….

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 4:30 pm by

 

…because of the ridiculous claims below, I can no longer pretend I do not know that your fellow bro-troll Colin Cowherd has a new radio program.

From the New York Post’s Brian Sage :

The former Met (Dykstra) told Fox’s Colin Cowherd that – in his effort to get a huge contract – he spent $500,000 to hire private investigators to turn up dirt on Major League Baseball umpires, and then used that intel to coerce them into giving him a favorable strike zone.

“I said I need the umpires, [so] what do I do? I just pulled out half a million bucks and hired a private investigate team to follow them,’’ said Dykstra, who won the 1986 World Series with the Mets.

“Their blood is just a red as ours. Some of them like women, some of them like men, some of them gamble, some of them do whatever.’’

Yes, because Nails is the single most credible person on earth.

10.26.15

Royals Owner David Glass : One Reporter Barred For Every AL Crown

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 10:01 pm by

“In 14 seasons between 1999 and 2012,” writes MLB.com’s Richard Justice, “the Royals lost 90 or more games 11 times.”  Despite this record of futility, Justice has ample praise for Royals owner/former Wal-Mart chief executive David Glass and GM Dayton Moore, crediting the former with allowing the latter’s homegrown talent to fully mature (while spending relatively little in the process).  It’s a pretty glowing assessment of the Royals organization (“every franchise hoping to turn this kind of corner could learn from how Glass and his staff have done things”) and if you pretty much ignore how K.C.’s rebuild took more than twice as long as that of the Mets, it’s hard to argue with. Especially because arguing can cost you press credentials at Kaufman Stadium.  From ESPN.com, June 10, 2006 :

Two reporters who asked contentious questions at a news conference introducing Dayton Moore as Royals general manager had their credentials revoked Friday.

Bob Fescoe of WHB and Rhonda Moss of KCSP, competing sports-talk radio stations in Kansas City, said they were informed by public relations director Aaron Babcock that their credentials were taken away.

“David Witty, the Royals vice president for communications and marketing, said the credentials were withdrawn for the remainder of the season. He declined further comment when reached by The Associated Press.

“All I can say is their credentials were revoked. That’s all I will say,” Witty told the AP.

At the news conference Thursday, the two grilled owner David Glass on the way he handled the dismissal of former general manager Allard Baird.

Glass appeared to become irritated and told Moss at one point that her assessment of the situation was “completely wrong.”

Moss has covered the Royals for KCSP for almost three years. Also during the news conference, she appeared to rankle Dan Glass, the team president and owner’s son, when she asked him what his role was in running the baseball operations.

Somebody In Cleveland Remembers Tim Couch, Just Not Fondly

Posted in Gridiron, Halloween at 6:36 pm by

Cleveland 19 News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Video courtesy Cleveland’s WOIO. Nice of the neighbors to offer extra yard space — I don’t see Seneca Wallace here.

10.25.15

“the Royals are my wife and the Mets are my mistress” – Jeff Jensen’s Complicated World Series

Posted in Baseball, Jeff Jensen at 4:07 pm by

(Editor’s note : usually when I’m approached by someone wishing for me to publish an interview with a hand-picked questioner it’s the Brett Yormarks, the David Howards, the Randy L’s of the world that I have to tell to get lost. This time, however, I was thrilled to receive such a solicitation from humorist/musician/actor/sportsman Jeff Jensen, best known to many CSTB readers as one half of the Earles & Jensen comedy duo. Also — he didn’t ask to be paid! Enjoy – GC)

I’m both a Royal and a Mets fan. A lot of people have been asking which team I’ll be supporting in this upcoming World Series. And I’ve had a lot of conflicting thoughts and emotions. So, yesterday, in beautiful Port Antonio, Jamaica my good friend Nicholas Walsh asked me a few questions about where my allegiances lie and then the conversation veered elsewhere.

Nick- We’re entering the 2015 World Series and the Mets are playing the Royals. You’re a Mets fan but from Kansas City, so, whom are you rooting for?

Jeff- Well this predicament is very hard for me. I feel cursed. I’ll be rooting for both teams but I’m actually rooting more for the Mets. I will be happy regardless of the outcome. Much happier than say if neither team had made it to the World Series.

Nick- So, how do you explain being a Mets fan despite being from Kansas City?

Jeffrey- I grew up as a Royals fan, as did practically everyone from Kansas City. But my interest in baseball essentially died in the late 80s. Which I should add, coincidentally, occurred just after both the Royals (1985) and Mets (1986) won their most recent World Series’. After 1986, when I was 14, my obsession with baseball stopped because I became more interested in music, art, drugs, girls, beatnik literature, foreign films etc.… I was a voracious baseball card collector up until about 1984, and a baseball stats nerd. So I knew the game better and more deeply as a 12 year old in 1984 than I do now. So, I was very aware of, and did really like the Mets back in the 80s when they were great. You’d have to be a total dick not to love Daryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden. I remember watching the ’86 series, and I was stoked when they beat the Red Sox. That was one of the last World Series’ I paid close attention to in my youth.

N- When did you officially become a Mets fan?

J- Like I said, I always liked the Mets but “officially” in approximately 2004, I had been, at that point living in New York for 12 years and naturally gravitated towards the Mets. But I “officially” got into the Mets because I felt myself missing baseball. Also, I took a bicycle ride from Williamsburg, Brooklyn with my then girlfriend out to Shea Stadium, which was my first visit to Shea. We didn’t know how to get there exactly, we had no map. So, we were just kind of winging it. We finally found the stadium and locked the bikes to the only bike rack out there. We we’re probably the only people that rode our bikes to the game that night.

N- What were your first impressions of seeing the Mets at home?

J- At first, I didn’t like Shea. I thought it was ugly and unwelcoming. It was hard to get to, especially on bikes because of all the expressways and parkways surrounding it, the Robert Moses stuff. Having lived in NYC for 12 years, even though I wasn’t into baseball, I had been to Yankees stadium several times because Yankee Stadium is so historic, and found the vibe to be better. Particularly the fact that Yankee Stadium, at least at that time, was still connected to the street culture that surrounded the Stadium. Shea really had none of that, which surprised and disappointed me.

N- So, why not become a Yankees fan?

J- Because the Yankees historically were the rivals of the Royals during the late 70s, when I first became a baseball fan. In fact, the Yankees faced the Royals in the playoffs four of five years and won three of those four series’, often in crushing fashion. Those were my very first baseball fan memories/experiences. You don’t forget that stuff. Furthermore, the Yankees always represented something horrible, distasteful and evil to me.

N- Much in the way the Red Sox fans despise the Yankees?

J- Actually more so. Because Red Sox fans usually point to the Yankees payroll as an unfair advantage. But the Red Sox payroll, relative to the Royals’ is actually much higher. So, to many Royals fans, like myself the hatred of the Yankees is possibly deeper on that “unfair financial advantage” level. I remember after one of the crushing playoff losses George Brett said something like, “the New York Yankees have the best team money can buy and the Kansas City Royals have the best team money can’t buy.” Which implied the Royals players would remain on the team, and play for less money. Was it true? I’m not sure but it definitely made an impact on me as a kid. I must admit though, those Yankee teams from the late 70’s were chocked full of really incredible players with unforgettable personalities. And I was fascinated with all the shots of the crowd in New York. I can remember wanting to move to NYC even as a little kid.

Nick- Is part of the reason you like the Mets is they’re more of a working-class/regular guy team?

J- I think that the Mets used to represent that. Probably long before I started following them. They’re definitely the lovable underdogs relative to the Yankees but I’m not sure if their fans are truly any more or less working-class at this point. Definitely no working-class fans will be attending these upcoming World Series games, as tickets are prohibitively expensive.

N- Speaking of geography, the players obviously don’t hail from the cities they play for, so there’s no real connection between the players and the community itself.

J- That hasn’t existed in professional sports for a really long time. Players are mercenaries. Besides, it would be really unfair if you restricted players to only play in the vicinity of their hometowns. A small market like Kansas City would have no chance against NYC. But, I suppose that’s how the Olympics works, they’re far more people in China versus say… Jamaica. Yet Jamaica manages to still produce both the fastest woman and the fastest man on planet. But I find it more challenging to justify allegiance to a team, not based on the geographical origins of the players, but because of free agency.

N- Exactly. At this point, what makes teams different? I remember the Red Sox playing Yankees when Johnny Damon played for Boston. He had a beard and long hair, which Yankees players aren’t allowed to have. Then he defected and became a Yankee, just for the money.

J-Yankees always remind me of cops, they look like the NYPD. If sports is just entertainment, I guess you could say Johnny Damon, as a performer, just took on a new role or character. But, if that’s the case, if you make an emotional investment in a team, it raises important questions about what exactly are you rooting for? If players can hop around so freely, are you only supporting a corporate logo? The answer is, definitely on one level, irrefutably “yes”. But, on another level, who cares? If you don’t believe in the NY Metropolitans, fine, but what are you supposed to believe in?

Read the rest of this entry »

10.24.15

Curtis Granderson’s Leadership Skills Extend To Deeply Embarrassing Lucas Duda

Posted in Baseball at 7:59 pm by

TBT to when Lucas was a cowboy

A photo posted by Lucas Duda (@wefollowlucasduda) on

Even in the midst of a remarkable run of good fortune for the New York Mets, I do tend to focus on the distasteful elements surrounding the club, so it’s a good thing the New York Times’ Tim Rohan clocked in with a (gulp) charming portrait of the friendship between Curtis Granderson and Lucas Duda. Unbeknownst to me (because I’m, y’know, not 13 years old) the former is responsible for the Instagram account, @wefollowlucasduda, because the latter is just too darn shy.

Duda fuels the body after an oppo home run today…photo cred @jmayberry44

A photo posted by Lucas Duda (@wefollowlucasduda) on

For three months, Granderson had been taking pictures and videos of Duda without his permission and then posting them. Granderson started it in July, along with his teammates John Mayberry Jr. and Danny Muno, because they thought that Duda was popular enough and should have one. The unusually quiet and private Duda disagreed.

The account started innocently enough, with photos of Duda putting on his uniform, Duda eating a salad, Duda napping in the clubhouse, Duda wearing sunglasses on a plane, Duda at his high school graduation, Duda wearing a cowboy hat, Duda smiling with a bouquet. One picture, of Duda grabbing a slice of cake, had the caption “The key to homers is red velvet.”

When he is struggling at the plate, Duda likes to be left alone, which is perhaps why he became annoyed when Granderson started taking videos of him. Granderson filmed Duda in the batting cage, playing with his glove at his locker stall, eating peach cobbler in the lunchroom. Granderson usually added a bit of comedy by narrating the videos as if he were a wildlife expert who had just come upon an exotic animal in its natural habitat.