…but that doesn’t mean he can’t try. Days after the New York Times profiled São Paulo busing magnate turning record hound-to-the-extreme Zero Freitas and his efforts to snap up collections faster than his interns can archive ‘em, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Scott Mervis reports Jerry Weber (above) of the legendary Jerry’s Records is keen to talk turkey. Or records for cash, as it were.
“I heard whispers about [Mr. Freitas] for years,” Mr. Weber says. “He was a little sneaky about it. He didn’t want people to know what he was doing.”
“I’m sorry to see the records leave, it’s kind of sad that they’re leaving our country to go to Brazil, but those records have been out of circulation. We weren’t allowed to look at them, they were too expensive to buy.”
Mr. Weber, who owns 2.5 million albums between his store and warehouse and has been featured on “best record store lists” as well as on the A&E show “Hoarders,” admits that he’s a bit jealous of the Brazilian operation, which he estimates at around 8 million pieces.
Not surprisingly, he’s conflicted about his collection, built over three decades, saying, “I don’t want to sell them to Brazil. I’m patriotic. I think people in Pittsburgh should be able to hear them. But I’d have to be a fool not to do it.”
He has five grandchildren, he said, and “my kids would never forgive me” if he passed on a deal like that.
Nonetheless, Pittsburghers shouldn’t worry too much about the disappearance of Jerry’s, because collecting is in his blood.
“I just turned 66, so I’ve got four, five years,” he laughs. “I would start all over again. The way I buy records, I could build it back up in no time.”
Philly hedge-fund manager Andrew Barroway’s NYC ICE has sued New York Islanders owner Charles Wang (right) over the latter reneging on an agreement to sell the NHL franchise for $420 million. According to the suit, reported on by the New York Daily News’ Barbara Ross and Patrick Leonard, Wang seemed to think recent events surrounding the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers had inflated the Islanders’ market value :
In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Barroway’s corporation blames Wang’s “about-face” on a whimsical case of “seller’s remorse” directly influenced by the “unrelated news” of former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion bid to buy the NBA’s Clippers from Donald Sterling, the team’s embattled, soon-to-be-former owner.
NY ICE’s lawsuit claims the parties “shook their hands on an agreement” and NY ICE started to line up NHL approval and financing for the $450 million price agreed upon in March. However, Wang “without notice, abruptly refused to proceed to close the transaction and honor the terms of their 70-page purchase agreement and instead “improperly sought to renegotiate the already agreed upon price.”
Beginning with an in-person meeting in New York on June 10, the lawsuit alleges Wang made his first of several references giving “thanks to Steve Ballmer.” Then the suit states that in a July 16 meeting, again in New York, Wang “blind-sided Barroway by demanding $548 million” to buy the Islanders.
“Wang, whose greed was further stoked by the Ballmer bid, … set on a course of bad faith conduct to improperly renege on the agreement and eventually blind-side NY ICE with a substantially-increased price demand,” the lawsuit states.
(image culled from Brokelyn)
I realize the Grub Grub Chop Shop’s choice of words are as distasteful as they are nonsensical, but full credit where due. At least they didn’t promise to PUT YOUR HUNGER IN A CHOKE HOLD.
Reprobate extraordinaire Lenny Dykstra completed a half-year sentence in federal prison for bankruptcy fraud some 13 months ago, leading the New York Times’ Richard Sandomir to quiz the former NL MVP about a web venture, Nails Investments, that continued to operate during Dykstra’s stay in the stoney lonesome. “I’m 455-1″ boasts Dykstra of his alleged option-picking prowess, and while his ex-wife, Terry tells Sandomir her former spouse “has definitely been humbled,” there’s not much evidence of such in the interview.
Time and again, Dykstra returned to his stock-option savvy and that 445-1 record of success. He said he was preparing a marketing campaign that included a letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission that he believed would defeat any skeptics.
“The S.E.C. investigated me, and they were going to put me in jail,” he said. “I was 110-0, and everybody thought what I was doing was bull. It was crazy, man. The investigator tried hard but couldn’t punch any holes in it. I’m bulletproof.”
Kelly Bowers, a senior assistant regional director of the commission’s Los Angeles office, wrote to Dykstra on June 14, 2010, “The investigation has been completed as to Lenny K. Dykstra, against whom we do not intend to recommend any enforcement action by the commission.”
Dykstra said: “I’m on federal probation. I can’t lie that I’m 445-1 if I’m not 445-1.” Bowers declined to comment or to confirm the existence of the letter or any investigation.
There’s no way this one’s still available.
With an item that narrowly missed being the meat of today’s Phil Mushnick column (give it a few days, folks), the Wall Street Journal’s Sharon Terlap and Andrew Beaton report FSU head coach Jumbo Fisher was called to the carpet by Nike after his 9 year old son was seen on national TV donning an Under Armor shirt.
The postgame embrace, captured by ABC cameras, struck most viewers as a heartwarming moment—especially given Ethan Fisher’s widely reported struggle with Fanconi anemia, a rare and serious genetic disease. But a different reaction emerged from one camp: Nike Inc.
In an email sent hours after the Nov. 2 game, Mark Dupes, who as Nike’s assistant director for football sports marketing helps oversee the company’s $4.2 million licensing and apparel deal with the school, congratulated Florida State administrators on the win. “Hey guys great win and game! Appreciate everything you all do for us! Keep it rolling.”
Then Dupes turned to another matter: the sweatshirt Ethan wore during that on-field embrace. “Hey got a text from the USA Director of Sports Marketing last night telling me of how good things look w FSU and our players and sideline staff, exposure for the Brand was exceptional. Then 5 min later I rec a new message…Said ABC cameras were on Jimbo and his Son ad end of the game…His son was Wearing Under Armour FSU sweatshirt! Ouch. Can we please ask Jimbo to eliminate that from the son’s wardrobe in the future! Let me know if I can help w anything. Thx guys. MD”
…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.
(l-r : Lenny Wilkins, Downtown Freddie Brown, celebrating a moment the Thunder would prefer to ignore)
Starting next season, the NBA and licensee Adidas will affix a small gold Larry O’Brien Trophies on back jersey collars indicating how many championships a franchise has won. In the case of the former Seattle Supersonics, the Oklahoma City Thunder would prefer to disregard a 1979 title, as The Oklahoman’s Cody Stavenhagen explains :
“As of right now, they are not wearing it,” NBA vice president of outfitting Christopher Arena said. “They actually would have had to have told us that some time ago, and that was their choice. We have several teams who have a lineage that exists prior to the city that they’re in …Some teams embrace that past, some teams don’t. Whether it’s because of ownership changes or perhaps the lineage is too great of a distance or the team nickname changed or whatever it may be, that’s their decision.”
Oklahoman reader Jonathan Moy comments, “Seattle has done nothing but throw hate towards OKC and the Thunder. Why in the world would OKC even consider acknowledging Seattle on the jersey? This was a good decision.” Yes, why can’t Seattle’s basketball fans learn to accept being fucked out of their basketball team and cultural history? What Seattle resident doesn’t watch Kevin Durant’s exploits and say to themselves, “so we’re denied a chance to host this otherworldly talent — at least he’s making Clay Bennett even wealthier.”
Richard Michael Gossage once famously accused Padres/McDonald’s owner Joan Kroc of “poisoning the world” with her dubious burgers, but Goose probably couldn’t have predicted the day would come in which the vaunted fast food chain would find itself in (semi) vogue thanks to Sleaford Mods’ “McFlurry”. Nor could the Mo Rivera-baiting Gossage have envisioned the image below (photo ripped off from Sean Gray) :
Persons of a certain vintage will remember — perhaps not so fondly — Domino’s Pizza’s creepy animated mascot, The Noid. Domino’s former CEO / anti-abortion zealot Tom Monaghan (dubbed “the Anti Too-Tall Jones” by Robert Nedelkoff) commissioned a marketing company to come up with a troll-ish pseudo-alien figure who’d personify the myriad ways your 30-minutes-or-it’s-free-generic-fucking-pizza might be delayed.
Unfortunately, in early 1989 at the height of The Noid’s infamy, a deranged, pistol-waving gentleman took hostages in Atlanta, claiming the character was a deliberate attempt by Domino’s to push his buttons. Wait, did I neglect to mention his name was Kenneth Lamar Noid?
Priceonomics’ Zachary Crockett writes that Mr. Noid committed suicide a few years later, which makes the following passage, well, even more fucked up.
Domino’s Pizza “Noid Super Pizza Shootout” Facebook Game from Andrew Lincoln on Vimeo.
Following the ordeal, Domino’s swiftly terminated the Noid campaign. For nearly twenty years, the annoying character lay in glorious respite, before briefly returning in 2011 (his 25th anniversary). This time though, he was merely part of a short-lived promotional marketing campaign: in Domino’s Facebook game, “The Noid’s Super Pizza Shootout.” As quickly as he came, the Noid returned to the void.
Launching a Facebook game called “The Noid’s Super Pizza Shootout” after there already was, y’know, A REAL SUPER PIZZA SHOOTOUT (featuring a batshit, armed-to-the-tooth guy named NOID who thought the Noid was created to fuck with his head) is a move in such monumental bad taste, I’m consumed with jealousy and awe.
Rockies fan Michael Ferguson took exception to Colorado’s indifferent effort in a 9-0, July 4 loss to the Dodgers, and while there’s not exactly any shame in being humbled by Clayton Kershaw (again), the home team could probably use some outside P.R. guidance after the club’s CEO, Dick Monfort (above) reacted to Ferguson’s criticism. From KREX TV’s Travis Khachatoorian :
When Ferguson left the stadium, he decided to leave a disapproving comment in a feedback form.
“I pretty much just filled out the survey and kinda wrote a little bit about how it’s frustrating to spend the money and go see [Rockies] teams that are constantly struggling all the time,” said Ferguson.
Two days later, he found out his comments did not go unnoticed. Ferguson received a reply in his inbox simply stating, “If product and experience that bad don’t come!”… signed owner, chairman, and CEO of the Colorado Rockies Dick Monfort.
“That was quite a shock. I never expected that,” said Ferguson. “I figured it was just a bunch of people sitting around reading it. I might get an automated response or anything, but to get something like that, short and simple like that, it’s like wow… almost feels like they don’t care about the fans.”
Ferguson didn’t reply to Monfort’s curt response, but was disappointed he spent $288 on tickets (not including food and drinks in the park) to only have his comments dismissed by the top of the Rockies management.
Shortly following Georgia Public Broadcasting’s takeover of Georgia State University’s WRAS, GPB producer Clay Bolton found himself hitting the bricks after management took umbrage at his choice of a shirt when photographed in a local publication. From Creative Loafing’s Rodney Carmichael :
Bolton’s dismissal followed the online publication of the Creative Loafing story “Atlanta nostalgia: It’s the new style.” In the story about the growing local trend of T-shirts designed to signify love for a fading Atlanta, Bolton talked about creating his “Fuck Cobb County” tee four months ago in reaction to the Atlanta Braves’ decision to move the major league team outside the city limits to a future Cobb County stadium
Beyond critiquing the Braves’ intended move, his Fuck Cobb County shirt symbolizes the ideological tension that often distinguishes the city from the suburbs, and Atlanta from the rest of the state. Bolton, who worked at GPB radio for two years, produced the local news breaks for nationally syndicated NPR shows “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.” Apparently his job was in good standing. He’d received a promotion the day before being fired for violating GPB’s code of ethics, he said. Though GPB refused to comment on personnel matters, a spokesperson contacted by Creative Loafing said GPB “wish[es] him the best.”
The shirt in question can be ordered here.
Unfortunately, there’s no Craigslist category for “Gullible People Who Like Unloading Valuable Shit”
(EDITOR’S NOTE : from time to time, noted Bronx baseball executive Randy L. graces CSTB’s vast readership with his thoughts on the events of the day, sporting and otherwise. Upon the the New York Yankees’ introduction of 3 Bombers-branded wines, Randy asked, no, he insisted on having his say – GC)
If we can adjourn for just a moment from thoroughly dull topics such as the Stanley Cup Finals, the Belmont Stakes and our crosstown “rivals” going into the tank even earlier than usual, I’d like to draw your attention to a unique opportunity to turn your shitty studio apartment / parents’ basement or Red Hook hovel that you share with a half dozen other aspiring artistic geniuses into a palace with all the ambiance of NYY Steak. If only for a night.
I am fully aware that most of the persons reading this haven’t been on a date since Waldman’s last pregnancy test (and the two dates in history might not be unrelated), but that’s why your best buddy Randy L. is here to add some class to your sad fucking existence. Not since Neil Strauss’ award winning “I’m A Schmendrick With Revenge Fantasies” DVD box set has there been a more sure-fire means of locking down an evening with that special someone. Whether you chose our 2012 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, the 2011 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, or our New York Yankees™ Reserve 2013 Finger Lakes Dry Riesling (do not worry, we can vouch for the fact Brian Cashman’s fingers have come nowhere near these bottles), you’ll have no trouble demonstrating to the object of your affections that you’re part of the same tradition, success and grandeur one associates with The Yankee Universe.
Every since we announced the launch of these excellent-yet-affordable wines, my phone has been blowing up with any number of Yankee alumni eager for free samples. Mickey Rivers, Jason Giambi, Luis Polonia, Joba Chamberlain, Shane Spencer, they’re all eager to find out just how special these wines are. Even Vin Baker’s been in touch, though I’m pretty certain he’s never been part of our organization.
Of course, all of he above are gonna have to pay just like the peasants reading this. We didn’t become the most successful professional team sports franchise of all-time by just giving stuff away.
Typically, shirt sponsors for soccer clubs run the gamut from internet gambling sites, software giants (and minows), beverage purveyors, tire warehouses, etc. The Scottish Championship’s Raith Rovers, however, will feature the website of crime novelist Val McDermid next season, with Rovers’ marketing guru telling The Scotsman “it is an honour for a provincial club like Raith Rover to be involved with a world famous author.”
Despite living in the North of England, the author is often spotted at Rovers matches, including their Scottish Cup quarter-final tie with St Johnstone in March.
She said: “The benefit has never been clearer than in this coming season.”
“With the arrival of Rangers, Hibernian and Hearts in our division, there will be many more visitors to Stark’s Park.
“There will be massively more media interest, with photographers and TV cameras sending images of our ground and our players all round the world.”
McDermid’s main novels have been series based on the characters Lindsay Gordon, Kate Brannigan, Tony Hill and Carol Jordan.
A day prior to Mets shareholder Saul Katz denying rumors he’s keen to sell, ESPN NY’s Adam Rubin rejected a call for manager Terry Collins’ firing on Twitter, suggesting fingers be pointed instead at GM Sandy Alderson. Capital NY’s Howard Megdal, while hardly casting a vote for Sandy as MLB Executive Of The Year, points out Alderson is trying to field a big league team with a payroll of roughly $80 million.
Unlike most other G.M.s, Alderson isn’t given a static, simple budget to work with. Ownership instead makes vauge promises to him about spending, while ultimately forcing him to build the team on player-by-player basis, never sure of when he’ll have to stop.
He was told, just as the public was led to believe, that this past winter would offer the chance to expand payroll for the first time in his tenure. Alderson made public his belief last June that the Mets needed a payroll of $90-100 million merely to be competitive.
Most teams right now, particularly those with their own television networks or recently-negotiated television deals, have that as primary revenue stream, with attendance secondary. In cases like the Phillies, the team could operate with virtually zero fans attending and still support the $172 million payroll, thanks to television revenue in the deal they just signed.
The Mets have such a setup with S.N.Y., and have since the network debuted back in 2006. Where’s that revenue going?
Answer: to finance debt, to keep ownership afloat. You know, the thing that led Bud Selig to take Frank McCourt from the Dodgers.
Rhode Island Representatives Karen MacBeth and Michael Chippendale front the House Oversight Committee investigation of Curt Schilling’s floptastic 38 Studios and the $75 million in taxpayer dough that went up in smoke. This week, writes Bloomberg News’ Neil Weinberg and Michelle Kaske, the lawmakers received written threats by mail (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory) :
“You have a beautiful family,” said the letter to Chippendale, which arrived April 29. “Stop poking around.”
“The only common link between Representative MacBeth and me is this investigation,” said Chippendale, a Foster Republican. “So it’s clear what they’re talking about.”
MacBeth’s legislative office received a threatening letter May 1, after Chippendale warned her to be on the lookout, she said. The Cumberland Democrat, who chairs the oversight panel, called police, who opened it in her presence before taking it away.
State police are probing the threats, Major Todd Catlow, a spokesman, said in a telephone interview.
“We’ll try to trace the origins of the letters that were sent and we’ll go from there,” Catlow said in a telephone interview.
In recent weeks, the legislators say, they have unraveled ties among 38 Studios, people who lobbied for the project and those who might have benefited.
We’re a night away from the annual NFL Draft and all the televised misery that accompanies said spectacle, and the Washington Post’s Norman Chad (above) has begun his campaign for the draft’s abolition., citing the plight of the league’s “worker bees” (“their place of work is determined for them”).
Coming out of college in 1981, I was one of the top sportswriting candidates in the nation, considered a “five-tool prospect” — I could type, report, interview, write and write for power. I was lucky enough to land with The Washington Post, and from there, developed into the non-award-winning, couch slouching columnist I am today.
But had there been a sportswriter draft and I happened to be picked by, say, USA Today, my choice would’ve been either to go write 75-word stories for a newspaper I didn’t want to join or move to Barcelona and try my hand at street mime.
Granted, it would be difficult to challenge the draft. A draft-eligible player would need to sue the NFL, it could take years to grind through the judicial system and, if it makes it way to the highest court in the land, need I remind you that Supreme Court justices often have sat in luxury boxes at Redskins games.
Another benefit of ending the NFL draft: No “Draft Day II” coming to a theater near you.
(pic swiped from the Atlantic Yards Report)
While Forest City Ratner has yet to deliver affordable housing the immediate area surrounding Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, they did manage to build what is surely the only open-to-the-public meditation room in an NBA arena. Though the New York Times’ Andrew Keh claims the room has few, if any visitors, he credits it’s existential existence to the Reverend Herbert Daugherty, “a Brooklyn pastor who has long been one of Atlantic Yards’ most ardent supporters.”
“Life is more than stone and steel and stuff,” said Mr. Daughtry, who heads the House of the Lord Pentecostal Church. “It’s about values, decency, fairness, trying to teach people that there’s more to life than materialism.”
Mr. Daughtry’s opponents argue that he has been co-opted by Forest City, and they point to the group he founded, the Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance, which was seeded with $50,000 from the developer. Mr. Daughtry’s family members oversee other programs that the developer funds to benefit the community. One of Mr. Daughtry’s daughters is in charge of distributing dozens of free tickets for each Nets game. Another daughter will run the arena’s community events program. His wife picked out the meditation room’s furnishings.
Mr. Daughtry said he was used to being criticized as “a sellout,” but he has taken a pragmatic approach. “Can you imagine all this is happening three or four blocks from my church, and all I had done was criticize from the side?” he said. “And my members and children are asking: ‘Can we get tickets? What happened? Why aren’t you involved?’ ”
A fan wearing a Nets shirt said he had seen a sign on the concourse for the meditation room but had never bothered to see what it was. The fan, who gave his name only as Sayani, said he did not think he ever would.
“The only time I would have used it was the game we blew to Toronto, when Deron Williams made that stupid pass into the backcourt,” said the fan, a manager at a nearby P. C. Richard & Son store. “Then I would have needed to meditate.”
Unless and until Blackie Lawless’ Segway hits the auction block, Chris Holmes’ 1987 Firebird might the ultimate item to complete your W*A*S*P-related methods-of-transportation memorabilia collection. Snap it up now, before some wealthy W*A*S*P fan drops it in the parking lot of the Experience Music Project.
(this entire post is just a lousy cheap excuse to post the above video…again)
CNNMoney’s Chris Isidore reports that purveyors of toxic, pseudo-Italian grub SBARRO are well and truly fucked. If you were here right now, I’d high five you so fucking hard you’d need a mechanical claw to place your next pizza order.
In a statement Monday the chain said the bankruptcy filing is a pre-packaged plan, which means that it has already agreed on a reorganization plan with creditors that hold 98% of the company’s debt. That should allow it to quickly shed an estimated $140 million in debt, and emerge from bankruptcy as a healthier company.In February, the company announced it was closing 155 company-owned restaurants in the United States, effective immediately. That left it with 220 U.S. locations and more than 600 other locations owned by franchise operators in 40 different countries.
Sbarro is best known for locations in airports, malls, train stations and highway rest stops — high traffic locations with limited direct competition from other pizza chains.
Why should jello shot emporiums that don’t lift a finger to support interesting live music 51 weeks a year be the only ones to cash in on SXSW? Depending on how much you can bench press, here’s your big chance, too.
Film director/Knicks superfan Spike Lee is certainly not above reproach ; if you paid an admission price of any sort for “Girl 6″, you know what I’m talking about. But if seems that Lee’s wealth and celebrity status have caused some to sneer at his recent diatribe against the creeping Vice-ification of his beloved Brooklyn (“we had the crystal ball, motherfuckin’ Do the Right Thing with John Savage’s character, when he rolled his bike over Buggin’ Out’s sneaker. I wrote that script in 1988. He was the first one. How you walking around Brooklyn with a Larry Bird jersey on? You can’t do that. Not in Bed Stuy”).
Noting the rather aggressive backlash to Lee’s comments, Jeremiah Moss of the fantastic Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York cannot help but recall his own blog once fielded a comment as pithy as “NYC was gross back then. The natives nearly destroyed the city. Now, thanks to the influx of cleaner people, the city is glamorous again!”
People didn’t like that Lee was angry and had used the word “fuck” several times in what was now being called his “rant.” They called him “arrogant,” a word that has “uppity” as one of its synonyms. They didn’t like that he, like television’s George and Louise Jefferson before him, had “moved on up” to the East Side, to a deluxe apartment in the sky, as the song goes. He was a wealthy hypocrite, people argued. He had too many multi-million-dollar properties. He had abandoned Brooklyn, and didn’t deserve to defend it. In an op-ed for the Daily News, Errol Louis made some good points about Spike’s own role in the gentrification of Fort Greene, including his flipping of several properties and the marketing of a rather tacky “Absolut Brooklyn” vodka. There were definitely some conflicts there that Spike did not address, and should have; however, that omission does not fully explain the violent backlash he received, and the fierce pro-gentrification cries that swirled around him. After all, plenty of other financially successful New York artists have railed against gentrification—David Byrne of Talking Heads, whose net worth is $45 million, even used the word “fuck” in his rant against the rich–and they didn’t get such backlash. But they weren’t black people expressing anger about white people.
As the online comment threads about Spike Lee lengthened, growing more contentious, the conversation began to crack. The neoliberal façade that hides the true face of today’s brand of gentrification fell away like a veil. Several people began to make statements like (I’m paraphrasing here): “I’m white and I helped make the neighborhood nicer,” and “White people were here first,” and “Black people pushed out the white people and now the whites are just coming back,” as well as, “I’m white and I’ll live wherever I want.” Said another (not paraphrasing), “Making a neighborhood that was once nice, nice again is not gentrification. It’s restoration.”