The persons behind the Facebook group “We Are Darren Wilson” had promised to sell the above t-shirts at a St. Louis sports bar in advance of Saturday’s Game One of the National League Championship Series between the host Cardinals and the visiting Giants. At some point yesterday, they changed their mind.
“**Due to heightened threats/violence in the St. Louis City area our team will not be physically present at Barney’s** *SHIRTS-HATS-WRISTBANDS* update: If you’re local, pick up at Barney’s Sports Pub, 6027 Chippewa St, St Louis, MO 63109 (wristbands $5, hats $10, blue/silver badge shirts $15). If you already sent a check to Barney’s, we’ll still send your wristband by mail. Otherwise, we’re discontinuing mailings at this time. For a variety of reasons outside of our control, we were unable to continue with the red shirts. Thank you for your continued support of Darren Wilson and Law Enforcement!”
One of the “variety of reasons”, “beyond their control” might be use of the Cardinals name and colors without the permission of Major League Baseball.
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.
There’s no truth, by the way, to the rumor Jon Koncak has offered to serve as Chief Diversity Officer for not one penny more than his average annual salary from ’89-’95.
Newark’s Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium was vacant this past season as the Can-Am League’s Newark Eagles failed to field a team after years of financial struggles. On Saturday, The Record’s Joan Verdon reports TV marketing maven A.J. Khubani (above), founder of Telebrands, the company behind the Pocket Hose and the Slice-O-Matic, is interested in bringing a new team to Newark. Verdon warns however, that Khubani, “has tangled with the Federal Trade Commission and the state Division of Consumer Affairs over advertising claims and practices, and in August the state filed a complaint accusing Telebrands of violating the Consumer Fraud Act.” So in other words, why isn’t he partnering with Fred Wilpon?
“As I get older, like most people, you start to think about their legacy and what they’re going to do with the money they’ve accumulated,” Khubani said.
“I’m a Jersey boy,” he said. “I love this state. The goal is to bring that team back and support it. It’s something that’s good for the state.”
Al Dorso Sr., one of a group of investors who last year acquired Skylands Park, a 4,200-seat former minor league stadium in Sussex County, and who is working to put a team in that stadium, said he wishes Khubani luck in his efforts but that operating a team in Newark is a challenge. “It’s a difficult stadium [to fill]. There’s a lot of competition. And they didn’t have a lot of community support. They really need the community behind it.”
Khubani said he is confident that he could develop some strategies to sell tickets in Newark. “I happen to have some expertise in getting people to buy things,” he said.
No matter how many titles Oklahoma City and K.D. might win in the future, they’re never match the meme-anticipating insanity of Seattle’s Predrag Drobnjak television advertisements.
The Connecticut Post’s Amy Graff reports clothing retailer Zara has taken a children’s pajama top off their shelves after someone pointed out, y’know, it kinda looked like a concentration camp uniform.
The Wild West-inspired top was meant to look like a sheriff’s uniform with dark horizontal stripes and a bright yellow star over the right breast. In fact, the word “sheriff” is emblazoned across the star, but in online images the title isn’t visible. Outraged Twitter users pointed out that the six-point star looked like the Star of David and the blue-and-white horizontal stripes resembled those on Holocaust prison wear — even though concentration camp uniform stripes were vertical.
After a social media explosion, the Spanish retailer with outlets throughout the world ditched the shirt and released an apology.
The top’s availability earlier this week is uncertain but many news sites are reporting that it was sold on a number of International sites including those selling to customers in Albania, Denmark, France, Israel, Sweden and the UK.
A little more than a year ago, Bleacher Report co-founder Bryan Goldberg’s attempts to “transform Women’s publishing” with the newly launched Bustle.com received widespread criticism, including the suggestion from this corner (“The Web’s #1 Content Farmer Finds Out That IUD Isn’t An Acronym For “Internet Underwear Deputy”) he was as credible a champion of feminism as Luke Winkie.
Fast forward to this morning, and Slate’s Amanda Hess surveys the commercial success of Bustle (rivaling Jezebel for traffic) and Goldberg’s skill in mollifying some of his more prominent foes (some of whom have not-so-coincidentally accepted payment from, uh, Goldberg). Still, while Goldberg has convinced some in the web world that he’s not the biggest creep on Silicon Row, Hess found at least one person unwilling to high five the man she calls “The Bro Whisperer” :
“It’s nice not having to code-switch as I would with a male boss,” one contributor told me of working with all female editors. A former intern described the office dynamic as an “all-girls summer camp feel,” where Goldberg typically stayed tucked away in his office, and the crew of relentlessly kind female editors “felt like counselors” to their young charges. In fact, Bustle’s office culture vibe is so by-women, for-women that one former contributor didn’t recognize Goldberg’s name when I raised it in our conversation. “I had no idea a man was behind Bustle,” she told me. “Weirdly, that makes me like it much less.” She had assumed that her low pay rate was the product of a fledgling female-run startup that had struggled to secure funding from venture capitalists. When I sent her Goldberg’s now infamous PandoDaily announcement, she looked at the headline and said, “There’s $6.5 million behind it, and this is what they’re paying me?” I told her that Goldberg had since raised an additional $5 million. “Jesus,” she said.
…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.