From The Desk Of Randy L : When You Think Of Second Chances, Think Yankees

Posted in Baseball at 9:55 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, legendary Bronx baseball executive Randy L. visits CSTB to weigh in on the meaty matters of the day, sporting and otherwise. With the New York Yankees facing heavy criticism over their acquisition of All-Star reliever / accused domestic abuser Aroldis Chapman, Randy offered, no he totally insisted on having his say – GC)

Greeting and a very Happy New Year to all members of the Yankee Universe and the petty, envious, also-rans who typical hold us to standards they’d never dream of applying to a breeding ground for criminality like the one in Queens. But enough about Jeff Wilpon’s executive box, let me address some of your concerns surrounding our daring, you might even say genius move to enlist Aroldis Chapman in our effort to end a championship drought of some half-dozen years.

I realize some of the reports surrounding Chapman’s conduct in Cincinnati are deeply troubling, but are we really living in a society where a young man’s character can be judged by one isolated, albeit highly regrettable incident? If so, consider the virtual Old Timer’s Day lineup of Yankee greats who at one time or another received a first, second or third chance from the late, great George Steinbrenner, the man who frequently called me “the Jewish son I never had,” (decorum and simple human decency prevented me from recording Mr. Steinbrenner ever saying this out loud, but you could see the real sentiments in his eyes) ; Steve Howe, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Luis Polonia, Jose Canseco, David Cone, Chad Curtis, Jim Leyritz, Chuck Knoblauch, Joe Pepitone, Andruw Jones, C.C. Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez…need I continue?

You cannot fashion a 25 man lineup exclusively composed of choirboys. I mean, you can, but chances are very slim they’ll be any sort of a baseball team worth watching, even if their voices are fantastic and they’re quite handsome. I mean, look no further than our own General Manager, Brian Cashman, a man whose high-risk sexual escapades with dangerously delusional librarians exposed this franchise to at least as much ridicule as acquiring the game’s best closer. At least that’s what I told Cashman when ORDERING HIM to get the Chapman deal done, no matter what a bunch of social justice whiners had to say about it.

If it turns out after MLB’s extensive investigation that Mr. Chapman is guilty of serious misdeeds, I am fully confident that Commissioner Manfred will take appropriate action (even if he barely did dick about a certain contractual albatross that we’re still stuck with). But what kind of message would the World’s Greatest Professional Sports Franchise be sending if we denied an otherworldly talent like Aroldis Chapman the opportunity to make a living, while at the same time, burying Brian Cashman’s transgressions, pretending that he’s not a walking, talking trigger-warning for a large segment of our fan base (ie. every female whose spouse or significant other has internet access)?

I realize most of this blog’s readers are lonely, desperate males prone to project their predictable anxieties on others, but lucky for the Yankee Universe, I’m way more evolved. It’s out of deep respect for women that I routinely hold Cashman’s feet to the fire. And I’m not using a euphemism here. There’s an actual fire pit and I’m talking about his bare feet.

This entire matter can be resolved thru what I like to call “Goofus & Gallant” mentoring. If I simply provide Chapman with a married couple who can serve as role models (ie. Gallant), and a reprobate ex-husband who can serve as an example of what NOT TO DO (ie. Goofus), it’s gonna be smooth sailing for the 2016 New York Yankees. A weekend or two in the company of our Michael Kay and the lovely Jodi Applegate should be a behavioral blueprint. A mere hour or two watching Cashman swiping left and right on what he very hopefully calls a “smartphone” should also be a very teachable moment, if not one that is thoroughly nauseating.

Randy L.


History’s Most Questionable eBay Auctions, Pt. XVIII

Posted in Basketball, Modern Art, The Marketplace at 8:28 pm by

Atlanta pen and ink artist Nichole Epps is the creator of the one and only Jeff Teague wine glass, currently on offer via popular online auction site eBay. This spectacular, yet highly practical addition to your wine glass arsenal is described below :

The foam fingers and hands both glow in the dark. The piece was also specially made to be used as a fully functional wine glass. 25 percent of the final sale of this auction will help fund local Atlanta organization Back 2 Basics Kids Foundation, Inc.


Farewell To Lemmy Kilmister

Posted in History's Not Happening, Rock Und Roll at 9:53 pm by

a) the pic above is misleading — Motörhead were a quartet at this point (Lemmy, Wurzel, Eddie Campbell and Pete Gill) on this tour, and in the curious parking lot performance shown below.
b) supports were Exciter and Mercyful Fate. The latter dared appear in the tri-state area despite this being the height of Kickass Monthly editor Bob Muldowney’s fatwa against King Diamond.
c) perhaps due to the modest size of the venue, Motörhead’s “Bomber” lighting rig was not utilized ; instead, several members of the band’s crew ran around w/ airplane arms during the song in question.
d) there was an unfortunate incident at the Capitol Theatre’s box office when a well-known entertainer’s name could not be found on the guest list. I’ll refrain from the details because I’m pretty sure Jon Mikal Thor could still beat me up (or die trying).

Since The New York Post Can’t Afford To Edit Phil Mushnick’s Column, I’ll Do It For Free

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Journalism at 12:40 am by

Saturday, ESPN made a big deal about Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer coaching his last game before retiring. Why not? Remarkable pair, VT and Beamer. They were able to have QBs Michael and Marcus Vick matriculate before they entered prison. – Phil Mushnick, New York Post, December 27, 2015

As of this writing, Marcus Vick has yet to enter prison. He’s been to jail, but not to prison. Surely a fair-minded person like Phil wouldn’t pretend not to know the difference? And what possible good is advanced but suggesting that Marcus Vick, for all his considerable faults, is a sure thing for prison?


Someone’s Social Media Department Is On Auto-Pilot

Posted in Gridiron at 4:12 pm by

#Patriots win the toss and elect to kick. #NEvsNYJ

— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 27, 2015


Peyton’s New Mouthpiece In The Fight Against HGH Allegations : Ari Fleischer

Posted in Gridiron, Medical Science at 2:32 pm by

Unsurprisingly, Broncos QB Peyton Manning has dismissed charges stemming from an Al Jazeera report linking him to human growth hormone allegedly procured by his wife in 2011. As the Denver Post’s Troy E. Renck and Nicki Jhabvala report, Manning has the (paid) support of someone very accustomed to defending the indefensible :

Ari Fleischer, who heads a sports communications company and is an adviser to Manning, slammed the accusations in an interview with The Denver Post on Saturday night, calling the report “junk journalism.”

“There’s no truth to it,” Fleischer said. “What they have is a well-known con man from England who secretly recorded a former intern.”

Charles Sly was an unpaid intern at The Guyer Institute from February 2013-May 2013, according to Fleischer. This disputes information in the documentary, which says Sly worked at the institute in 2011. Sly confirmed Fleischer’s account, telling ESPN on Saturday that he worked at the institute in 2013, not in 2011 as the Al Jazeera report alleges.

According to Fleischer, Manning was a patient of The Guyer Institute in the fall of 2011 for rehabilitation from neck surgeries. Manning has not been a patient since, Fleischer said.


Mets’ Syndergaard Moves From Brushing Back Alcides Escobar To Infringing On Jason Whitlock

Posted in Baseball, Fashion, Merry Fucking Christmas at 5:35 pm by


On the bright side, at least The 7 Line haven’t figured out a way to profit from this.

(ADDENDUM : It seems these shirts are the handiwork of Barstool Sports. So there’s no bright side whatsoever)


WPRB’s Jon Solomon : The Man Behind A Holiday Tradition More Beloved Than Overpaying For Culturcide’s “Depressed Christmas”

Posted in Merry Fucking Christmas, Radio at 7:56 pm by

Jon Solomon‘s 24 annual 25 hour Xmas Marathon is in progress on WPRB. Christmasparticipants this year include a number of luminaries and rules of secrecy prevent us from mentioning exactly The Gotobeds who is taking part.


CSTB Holiday Cinema Rundown 2015

Posted in Cinema at 8:27 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE :  For a variety of personal reasons NONE OF WHICH ARE YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS, I only saw 3 theatrically released motion pictures in the last calendar year. It’s not that I’m uninterested in the medium nor do I subscribe to the contemporary sentiment that streaming films at home and/or watching thousands of hours of “appointment” television is a better use of time, either. When Hollywood starts making films are that are nearly as compelling as running Matt Harvey out of town, I promise you’ll have to throw me out of the multiplex. Possibly because I’ll be homeless at that point.

All of that said, there’s a number of films in wide release this Christmas season that I’m sure you’re curious about. And simply because I’ve not actually seen any of them is no reason to prevent me from weighing in — the nation’s pop critics do this stuff all the time without ever actually listening to what they’re writing about  — at least I hope that’s their excuse. – GC)

“The Big Short” (director, Adam McKay)

Supposedly this does for the housing/credit bubble of the early 2000′s what “Moneyball” did for baseball, the crucial difference being no one has to watch Philip Seymour Hoffman squeeze himself into an Oakland A’s uniform. Several of Hollywood’s most attractive actors are called upon to portray vastly overpaid jagbags, which has to be considered far less difficult than Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s task in “Moneyball”.  Nothing sounds like family fun time or sure-thing date night action quite like telling the inside story of the the credit default swap market, unless of course, you’re talking about…

“Concussion” (director,Peter Landesman)

From the looks of trailers that prominently feature Will Smith’s super fake Nigerian accent and explicit tales of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, this has Oscar-bait written all over it. Shame then, that the filmmakers have chosen to cast Luke Wilson as Roger Goodell when Aaron Eckhart has spent his entire goddamn existence preparing for this role. To say nothing of this guy!. Still, I am not without sympathy for the movie studio in this instance because lord knows the holiday results for this film would’ve been 100X better had they been allowed to re-use the title, “Brain Smashers : A Love Story”.

“Joy” (dir – David O. Russell).

This is the 3rd time Russell’s paired Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper and the 2nd time he’s combined Lawrence, Cooper and Robert De Niro (for an assault on the bank accounts of people with ferociously pedestrian tastes). Reportedly, the film chronicles the multi-decade saga of The Miracle Mop, as pioneered by Lawrence’s Joy Mangano. Given the staggering commercial and critical success of “Flash Of Genius” (in which Greg Kinnear tells the spine-tingling story of how the intermittent windshield wiper changed the automobile industry), the sky’s the limit for this. Especially if every available print is placed on a rocket ship aimed at Saturn.

“The Revenant” – (director, Alejandro G. Iñárritu)

Leo DiCaprio continues his dogged pursuit of adult male roles while playing the part of 1820′s frontiersman/fur trapper Hugh Glass. Keep in mind, this sounds an awful lot like “HUGE ASS”,  and sure enough, DiCaprio has a highly publicized encounter with a grizzly bear that the film’s producers have gone to great lengths to stress is not a rape. Regardless, 20th Century Fox didn’t get to where it is by making stupid decisions (a sister company’s hiring of Colin Cowherd aside) and they know all too well this sort of “will they or won’t they?” question will be hanging over the heads of DiCaprio and his furry co-star (above) right until Christmas Day. I can’t wait! Especially since I’m staying home.


Whitlock : I Gotta Be Me

Posted in Sports Journalism at 10:24 pm by

Jason Whitlock’s eventful but not entirely impactful return to ESPN was chronicled in detail by Deadspin’s Greg Howard, which the former is no doubt, still smarting over.  On Wednesday, Whitlock submitted to an interview with The Indianapolis Star’s Dana Hunsinger Benbow which mostly concerned Big Sexy’s most recent flame out in Bristol and subsequent resurfacing at Fox Sports 1.  “I can be more honest and transparent at Fox,” insists Whitlock, who if nothing else, can match Dino Costa stride for stride when it comes to believing his own bullshit.

Question: How did the ESPN website “The Undefeated” go from being your brainchild to you being pulled from the project?

Answer: Ha. Tough question to answer in a small space. A noncorporate, non-PC person trying to muster internal corporate support to do an ambitious, revolutionary project inside an establishment brand would make a great documentary. I just finished watching Netflix’s outstanding doc “Making a Murderer.” Mine would be called “Making a Scapegoat.” LOL. Seriously, I was the wrong fit at ESPN. Definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Q: How did your departure from ESPN go down? The company statement said it was your decision. True?

A: True. I wanted to leave ESPN when control of “The Undefeated” was taken from me. “The Undefeated” was the reason for me to work at ESPN. “The Undefeated” justified the sacrifice of my voice. I considered the possibility of staying at ESPN as a columnist and fill-in host at “Pardon the Interruption.” But at the end of the day, in order for me to reach my full potential, I need an environment that allows me to be me. … The executives at Fox Sports get and embrace me. Fox Sports allows me to be real.

Q: Do you believe race in any way played a part in how things turned out for you at ESPN?

A: Uh boy. Really difficult question in this space. My race played a role in the sense that certain people want the American establishment challenged in an easy-to-dismiss, highly divisive fashion. Certain people and groups seem invested in convincing black people that black people are liberal. We’ve traditionally been conservative, church-going people. Certain people are working to keep black people and white people divided. A black voice that tries to point out the common ground between black people and white people, particularly poor and working-class black and white people, is viewed as dangerous. Martin Luther King was most dangerous when he started working to bring poor people of all colors together. I think my vision for “The Undefeated” conflicted with the goals of people invested in keeping poor people and religious people divided.