07.03.15

Marking The 14th Anniverary Of Izzy Alcantara’s Martial Arts Demonstration

Posted in Baseball, History's Not Happening at 6:14 pm by

Pawtucket Red Sox outfielder Izzy Alcantara has been suspended for six games for his part in a bench-clearing brawl in a game against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons earlier this week.

Alcantara, the International League leader in batting and home runs, became enraged during a game in Pawtucket on Tuesday after Red Barons pitcher Blas Cedeno brushed him back with an inside pitch.

Alcantara karate-kicked Red Barons catcher Jeremy Salazar in his facemask and then rushed the mound. He missed with one swing at Cedeno before being tackled by Scranton/Wilkes-Barre third baseman Kevin Orie.

“The Pawtucket Red Sox do not condone this type of behavior in any way and we do support the action taken by the league in this matter,” the team said in a statement.

AP, July 4, 1999

07.02.15

CSTB’s Greatest (?) Hits : Recalling An Affront To The Legacy Of Stevie Ray Going Going Gone

Posted in Austin, Internal Affairs at 8:53 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : Earlier today, the Dallas Observer reported there’s plans to erect statues honoring Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Vaughan in front of Dallas’s Kessler Theater. My first reaction was, “why don’t we just trade the Town Lake SRV eyesore to Dallas for something more valuable?” (mint copy of the Ejectors’ “Hyrdo Head”? Ed “Too Tall” Jones’ recipe for butternut squash risotto?)

Now, however, I’m thinking every major city in Texas can have a Vaughan Brothers statue. Depending on census results, suburbs and small towns will have to settle for monument to Jeff Healey, Romeo Rose, Blues Saraceno, Jimmy Crespo and James Dolan in descending order of population and/or proximity to Guitar Center. I’m also thinking the good (?) people of Oak Cliff would be well advised to consider the following CSTB entry from December 24, 2005, “Stevie Ray Vandalized” – GC)

Time-Warner Cable’s News 8 was on the spot early this morning, spicing up an otherwise slow local news day with the story of the 8 foot statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan being defaced.

A local correspondent who will remain nameless (in case he or she ever wants to do the weather at News 8 ) comments below :

Subject: My new hero(es)
Body: Some beautiful person and/or persons defaced the Stevie Ray Vaughan statue at Town Lake in Austin last night.

This ugly, overbearing, bronze statue has been a blistering eyesore for the tasteful masses for years now. News 8 (Time Warner’s sad 24 hour news station) covered it early this morning, revealing that the word “POSER” was painted on the front, “See you in Hell” at the base, and some unnamed profanity on the reverse. Some passerbys’ quotes include a woman in her late 40s with fashionable jogging gear: “I’m an artist, too, and I appreciate what that is, and everyone does, and — well — obviously some don’t.” (Um, what “real” “artist” is jogging at 8am?) An even older fellow, looking very confused: “I don’t know what they’re protesting against.” (I would wager that they were drunkenly protesting against mediocre, Hendrix nutsack-swinging, drug-fueled GARBAGE that is pervasively revered by the small “c” local celebrities who speak for Austin.) And finally, a random, ugly, bearded tourist from Florida: “No respect for the dead…All he did was make good music and make people happy.” (Many people take exception to this — people like myself, who, as a sign shop employee, was forced to hear his poisonous aural carrion day after fucking day on KLBJ-FM.)

I’m not glad the motherfucker’s dead, but bitches, please, this is the most overrated guitar player of all time, a product of a pissant city that thinks so highly of itself to call itself the “Live Music Capitol of the World.” His wanky, artless garbage encouraged many other morons to pick up an axe and continue the suffering he started, and make places like Antone’s be able to book filth like this 7 nights a week.

I love the Blues. I love these drunks who did this in the middle of the night. I love News 8 Austin for getting their cameras down there to shoot and record it before the City sent out their underpaid minions to wash it off around 10am. It shall live in eternity on my DVR (until I get it burned to DVD, at least).

This shall be the best Christkkkmas ever. My heart races with joy.

07.01.15

B.I.’s Gaines : Mets’ Oft Ridiculed Deferred Bonilla Payments Were Pretty Smart

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 6:24 pm by

About two or three times a year, someone will forward a link reminding me the Mets continue to pay Bobby Bonilla until the end of human existence. However, Business Insider’s Cork Gaines is one of the first to point out the Mets’ decision to pay Bonilla $29.8 million spread over 25 payments starting in 2010 rather than the $5.9 million he was owed in 2000, actually turned out well for Fred Wilpon.

If Bonilla had accepted the $5.9 million in 2000 and invested the entire amount at 8% interest, the original investment would have grown to $104.1 million by 2035* (blue line in chart below). If instead, Bonilla takes his annual payment and invests that with an 8% annual return, he would have $95.2 million by 2035 (orange line in chart below).

In other words, Bonilla lost nearly $10 million by taking the payments instead of the lump sum.

But more importantly to the Mets, if they invested the $5.9 million at 8% interest in 2000. That money would have grown to more than $14 million before they had to make a single payment. And that money would continue to draw interest even while they are making payments.

06.30.15

Saving You The Trouble Reading The Statesman’s Music Pick For The Week

Posted in Austin, record collector disease at 10:52 pm by

A quick scan of Thurs-Sunday night action in the alleged Live Music Carhole reveals entertainment including but not limited to Spray Paint, Hex Dispensers, Xetas, Crooked Bangs, Street Eaters, Burnt Skull, Strutter, Holly Hunt, Fogg, James Arthur’s Manhunt, Wes, DEAD MOON, Bad Sports, A Giant Dog and not one but TWO Brother J.T. shows.

That said, the illustrious roster above runs the risk of being overshadowed by Friday’s Third Eye Blind/Dashboard Confessional/Quiet Company show in Cedar Park, the subject of the upcoming documentary film, “Everyone Here Failed At Life Parking Lot”

Costas To The Schmoozer : Twitter’s Full Of Really, Really Mean People

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio, Sports TV at 10:48 pm by

In the wake of his highly publicized scolding of Cubs reliever Pedro Strop on the MLB Network last week, Bob Costas checked in with WFAN’s venerable Steve Somers yesterday to explain that while he didn’t feel pressured by social media’s nattering naybobs of negativity into apologizing, he’s not got much time for the pathetic fucking creeps, either. From CBS New York :


“A large amount of it is just vitriol and ignorance and ad-hominem arguments and ad-hominem attacks, and anyone who says otherwise is either not paying attention or being disingenuous,” he said. “And because of that, it attracts people who have that kind of personality profile. So there’s no leavening influence. You or I or many of your listeners are not going to wander into that precinct to say, wait a minute, let’s be reasonable here. So it just becomes a playground for people who want to vent or express over-the-top and often utterly uninformed and ignorant opinions. And then what’s worse yet is that the mainstream often reacts to it. … The idea that in some desperate attempt to remain relevant and to get more clicks, that we should dumb ourselves down by adopting the ethos of the mob, that’s something that I’m not good with.”

06.28.15

Barstool Sports’ Nuanced, Thoughtful Coverage Of Istanbul’s Gay Pride March

Posted in Blogged Down at 4:25 pm by

Earlier today, the highly trafficked paragon of dumbfuckery known as Barstool Sports embedded a YouTube clip of gay pride marchers in Istanbul being sprayed by police with a water cannon. What follows is B.S.’s trenchant analysis followed by selected reader comments :

Listen I am down with the gays. I’m all for their rights and them celebrating. But this shit was awesome. And to be honest that dude was asking for it. He stood out there for like 5 full seconds waving that rainbow just waiting for the tank to adjust and blast him directly in the fucking face. The rest of those gayballs fell back REAL quick and stopped their march. Like “alright, we’re happy, but not THAT happy that I’m about to risk every bone in my body.” King of the Gays couldnt be swayed though. And in return he got like 200,000 pounds of pressure blasted right through his body.

Congrats on gay rights in America but this is Istanbul where we WILL kill you for no reason!

KFC, Barstool Sports, June 28, 2015


We don’t HATE gay people, we’re just sick to death of you guys telling us we have to accept you! You’ve got your supreme court decision now, so run along and shut the fuck up.

If I have to hear anymore about the gays I’m gonna kill myself.

06.27.15

Children’s Letters To The Entertainment Division Of Cumbucket Media, June 2015

Posted in Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll, The Mailbag at 5:18 pm by

Hello,

My name is (NAME REDACTED) and I’m writing on behalf of an Austin, Tx psych rock quartet called (NAME REDACTED).

We recently finished writing and recording our debut self-titled EP as a full band and are looking for someone to help us release it.

The album employs many different elements to create a unique mixture for each song. Among the influential genres for this EP: psychedelic rock, space rock, folk rock, baroque pop, R n’ B, funk, and grunge.

For reference, our style often gets compared to the following bands:

- Early Pink Floyd
- Fleet Foxes
- Tame Impala
- Grateful Dead
- XTC
- The Shins
- Grizzly Bear

You can listen to the EP here:

(REDACTED)

The album was self-produced and the cover art was hand painted by (NAME REDACTED) of the band (NAME REDACTED).

Attached are the credits and lyrics for the EP.
?
(REDACTED)

If you wish to see videos of our latest performance, you can do so here:

(REDACTED)

Let me know what you think and if you would be interested in releasing it.

06.26.15

Ford : Cubs Knew Sandberg Wasn’t Ready

Posted in Baseball at 10:47 pm by

Ryne Sandberg jumped off the sinking ship that is the Philadelphia Phillies early Friday, departing MLB’s worst team this season with more than half a campaign to play. Putting aside for a moment what that may or may not say about Sandberg’s leadership skills, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Bob Ford is blunt in his criticism of the Hall Of Fame second baseman, citing the Cubs’ refusal to appoint Sandberg manager 5 years ago (“the back-channel reason given was that they Cubs didn’t want to be in the position of having to fire a franchise legend…what GM Jim Hendry didn’t explain, however, was why the Cubs were so sure they would have to”) :


When Chase Utley showed him up June 16 by openly questioning strategy on the field, that was a tolling bell. Last week, when Utley went on the disabled list and Sandberg had not even been consulted or informed prior to the move, that was proof things had gone completely off the rails. The manager’s chair wasn’t officially empty for another few days, but it might as well have been.

Straight as a gun barrel, Sandberg believes in fundamentals, and he vowed to teach them regularly, which plays just fine in the minor leagues, where the guys have to listen to you, but not as well with big-leaguers. He had little blue squares painted on the inside corners of the bases at spring training so the players would be reminded how to run the bases properly. He instituted a regimen during the season that called for full infield, full outfield, and baserunning drills on a rotating basis before games, the sort of drudgery that the Phillies might have needed but not the sort that won Sandberg any support in the clubhouse. It won him eye rolls.

The Cubs aren’t a good measuring stick for how to operate a baseball team, but no organization knew Sandberg better. Major-league legends aren’t always suited to be major-league managers. In the case of Sandberg and the Phillies, this was particularly true for a major-league legend who found himself managing a team of jaded veterans and misplaced minor-leaguers, none of whom wanted to be told how to run the bases.

Vikes CB : Marriage Equality Is Tantamount To Legalizing Pedophilia

Posted in Gridiron at 4:33 pm by

Congrats (?) to Minnesota Vikings cornerback Josh Robinson who took the occasion of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling legalizing same-sex marriages to compare said unions to incest and pedophilia. It remains to be seen which members of the sporting scene will suggest that Robinson restrict his public statements to those concerning football. Y’know, the way Chris Kluwe was encouraged to STFU.

06.25.15

SHOUTOUT TO THE TOOL FROM BLUR

Posted in record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 3:47 pm by

From the Daily Mail.  Sleaford Mods’ ‘Key Markets’ is out now.

06.24.15

Zirin To U.S. Retailers : How’s Washington’s NFL Merch More Socially Acceptable Than A Confederate Flag?

Posted in Gridiron, Racism Corner, The Marketplace at 10:05 pm by

As you’ve probably read elsewhere, a number of major bricks & mortar / online merchants have announced plans to discontinue carrying Confederate flags and/or confederate-themed items in the wake of the mass killings in Charleston, SC last week. Slightly less than impressed with corporate America’s demonstration of conscience, The Nation’s Dave Zirin asks, “If the Confederate flag is too toxic to sell, then how can Amazon and Walmart continue to peddle the merchandise of a Washington football team that bears the name of a racial slur?”

I contacted Jackie Keeler, a Navajo/Yankton Dakota Sioux writer living in Portland and a founder of Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry. Her words should be read and reread:

“When I hear an spokesperson for eBay calling the Confederate flag ‘a symbol of divisiveness and racism’ after announcing that they are banning the sale of it from their site, I wonder why I can still search eBay and find over 100,000 Redskins items for sale. Studies and the APA [American Psychiatric Association] have repeatedly warned of the harm being pigeonholed and stereotyped does to Native youths’ self-esteem—and Native youth have the highest rates of suicide in the country, three and a half times that of their peers, but it happens where the rest of America does not look. Native men have the highest rates of police brutality and Native women the highest rates of murder and rape. These deaths are invisible to an America that does not weep for our dead. They cheer for the stereotype and paint themselves up in grotesque caricatures of us, but do they think about what cost we bear for that bit of fun? Is it worth it? I look forward to the day eBay and others like Walmart refuse to make a buck off of a bit of our soul.”

Dan Snyder is the least popular owner in sports, seen as an interfering bully who has stood over two decades of futility of a once-proud franchise. He is also an awkward, sweaty, twitchy hot mess when out in public. But because of his sneering defense of the name, Snyder finally has a following. They chant “Keep the Name” in bars while Snyder grins and pumps his fist. He has taken this objectively racist name—a dictionary-defined slur—and turned it into the football version of the Confederate flag. But none of that matters to him, because finally, Dan Snyder has fans of his own. Hope he enjoys it in the present. Like those who have wrapped themselves in the Confederate flag, he will find that the future will not be so kind,

06.22.15

A Said Farewell To The Other Nature Boy

Posted in Professional Wrestling at 9:03 pm by

Ring the bell ten times for Knoxville, TN’s Buddy Landell, who exited this mortal coil earlier today. Landell’s conversation this past spring with Colt Cabana can be heard below :

06.21.15

Turner Field Security : Unwitting Defenders Of Ballpark Ettiquette

Posted in Baseball, Mob Behavior at 5:14 pm by

I’m of a split-mind where the Mets’ (organized) traveling fan contingent aka The 7 Line is concerned. The company’s shirts accomplish the near-impossible task of making my own sporting wardrobe seem classy by comparison. The prospect of attending an out of town Mets game with a gang of identically-attired (mostly) dudes sitting in the worst possible seats selected by the host franchise is frankly about as appealing to me as gargling with broken glass.

All of that said, there’s some small measure of satisfaction in knowing that that a team that’s spent most of the past decade teetering on the brink of financial ruin, terminally out of contention (this season aside) and consistently overshadowed by their crosstown rivals, still generates enough fan support to coax a few hundred guys in ugly orange t-shirts to visit enemy territory.

So when I read the 7 Line’s field trip to Atlanta’s Turner Field Saturday was interrupted by overzealous security, hellbent on killing the party vibes, my first reaction was, y’know, fuck the fucking Braves. However, that was until I learned the Turner security forces actually had a very reasonable, if not heroic mission : RIDDING THEIR SOON-TO-BE-DEMOLISHED VENUE OF THUNDERSTIXX. From the Shea Dugout’s Will Musto :

In the middle of the fourth inning, I walked down to say hello and introduce myself to a Twitter friend of mine, Keith Blacknick (@mediagoon), half of the duo over at MetsPolice.com. We talked about how exciting it was to have a near-SEC football atmosphere of Mets fans at Turner Field. When I returned to my seat for the home fourth, my Yankee-fan friend Dusty informed me that Darren Meenan, The 7 Line’s founder, said we had to put away our thundersticks or we would be ejected.

The PIX broadcast claimed that the thundersticks were confiscated; they were not. We were asked to put them away. Turner Field bans noise-making items. That’s understandable. But that did not appear to be the issue last night. I was told that security officers said we were being too loud and annoying the Braves fans around us.

The most inappropriate thing that I saw was the four sections joining together inchants of “SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE” at a duo of Braves fans sitting below us who thought it was a good opportunity to turn around and mock us for being told to put thethundersticks away. Otherchants during that period included, “WE DON’T NEED THEM,” (with regards to thethundersticks themselves), “WE CHANT LOUDER,” and “WHY SO QUIET,” after a NickMarkakis strikeout. It’s safe to say that the Braves fans in the sections around ours were more concerned with us and how we were watching the game, than the game itself. It’s also worth noting that the agitators sitting below us were escorted from their seats by security around the seventh inning.

In the ninth inning, the group as a whole seemed to decide that the ban on thundersticks was no longer necessary, and they were brought back out.

Wishing Shawn Kemp (And You) A Very Happy Father’s Day

Posted in Basketball at 4:30 pm by

(absolutely not my father, as depicted by Derek Erdman)

My dad is a wonderful man whose keen analytical skills, humor and generally withering POV probably have a lot to do with the contents of this blog (other than 99.9% cut and pasted from people with actual skills). If you like what you see here, thank him. Conversely, if you can’t stand CSTB, it’s all his fault.

Luckily, my dad didn’t get to where he is today (ie. slightly above the New Hampshire/ME border) by sitting around reading sports blogs, so I am perfectly free to say something nice about him here. Shawn Kemp, on the other hand, doesn’t have nearly as many people wishing him a Happy Father’s Day, despite his prolific output (of sperm). So here’s to you, Reign Man. May the rest of the world’s Dad’s be 1/7th the parent you are (otherwise we’ll run out of natural resources even faster).

06.20.15

Blackpool’s Oyston : Doing Everything Possible To Take The Heat Off James Dolan

Posted in Football at 10:45 pm by

As mentioned in this space last December, Blackpool F.C. co-chairman Karl Oyston has been under fire for an unsavory Twitter exchange with a disgruntled fan. Perhaps inspired by Knicks/Cablevision owner James Dolan’s unique brand of public relations, the full breadth of Oyston’s tweets was revealed yesterday as the England F.A. slapped him with a 6-week ban and £40,000 fine. From The Guardian :

“Well I am doing pretty well for someone so clueless. You on the other hand clearly haven’t a lot of any worth in your life so take to sending retarded texts to people you don’t know judging them …”

“… Sorry your life is so shit but that’s only your fault not mine. Enjoy the rest of your special needs day out.”

“Are you sure we have met, I would have remembered such a massive retard. Business is great thanks and awash with money …”

“… Impossible to have a meaningful conversation with such a fuctard as you. The day you ever advise me about anything other than paint colour will not come.”

“I do ask for help just not from an intellectual cripple like you. When and if I need it. You are hilariously stupid as your type always are. Done fuck all, got fuck all, full of ideas how other people should spend their money. Get real you thick twat.”

06.19.15

The Orem Owlz Inability To Spell Is No Longer Their Worst Claim To Infamy

Posted in Baseball, Racism Corner at 5:00 pm by

The Angels’ Class-A affiliate Orem Owlz have a number of predictable/traditional promotional dates on their 2015 Pioneer League schedule, amongst them, Bark In The Park Night, Shark Week, Cosplay/LARPing Night and the ever popular Loot The Stadium Night.  Sadly,  one date on said calendar that might be diplomatically called ill-advised given recent events in the land of the stupid free is August 10′s Caucasian Heritage Night.  On the off chance there’s a Quiet Company post-game concert, maybe I could believe this is some high concept satire, but as Jay Jaffe notes, “every night is already white heritage night in Orem, Utah. Groups celebrating whiteness don’t exactly have a healthy track record.”

If this does turn out to be a gag on the Owlz’ part, might I remind them the Jersey City Snakes already put this kinda thing to bed a few years ago?

06.18.15

Stein : James’ “Emasculation” Of Blatt Decidedly Unleader-like

Posted in Basketball at 5:28 pm by

That LeBron James — denied the services of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love —- put an otherwise unremarkable Cavaliers team on his broad shoulders and put a legit scare into eventual champs Golden State, says much about the Akron native’s determination & guts, if not his best-on-the-planet status. A day after the conclusion of the 2015 NBA Finals, ESPN.com’s Mark Stein — hardly the first person to suggest there’s a disconnect between LeBron and head coach David Blatt — offers a scathing critique of James’ insubordination, calling the treatment of Blatt, “a rather unflattering look for an all-time great.”

We saw LeBron emasculate Blatt in ways that are simply unbecoming of a player of James’ legend-in-the-making stature.

I saw it from close range in my role as sideline reporter through the Finals for ESPN Radio. LeBron essentially calling timeouts and making substitutions. LeBron openly barking at Blatt after decisions he didn’t like. LeBron huddling frequently with Lue and so often looking at anyone other than Blatt.

There was LeBron, in one instance I witnessed from right behind the bench, shaking his head vociferously in protest after one play Blatt drew up in the third quarter of Game 5, amounting to the loudest nonverbal scolding you could imagine. Which forced Blatt, in front of his whole team, to wipe the board clean and draw up something else.

How is any fellow Cavalier going to treat Blatt with something resembling reverence when LeBron treats him like a bench ornament in plain view. How can LeBron publicly laud his own leadership, as he so often does, when setting that sort of tone?

06.17.15

Former Mets Owner Nelson Doubleday, Dead At 81

Posted in Baseball at 8:18 pm by

Publishing magnate and former New York Mets owner Nelson Doubleday (above, left) passed away Tuesday at the age of 81. Doubleday, who sold his shares in the club to partner Fred Wilpon in 2002, presided over the Mets dramatic rise to mid-80′s glory in a manner that seems almost unrecognizable to those familiar with the Wilpon or Dolan management styles. From Wednesday’s New York Times and William Grimes :

Allergic to the limelight and a delegator by inclination, Mr. Doubleday kept in the background. An exception was his lead role in a successful campaign to oust Bowie Kuhn as commissioner of baseball — Kuhn wanted the teams in major markets to subsidize teams in smaller cities — and replace him with Peter V. Ueberroth.

A stark contrast to his counterpart in the Bronx, George M. Steinbrenner, Mr. Doubleday left the running of the club to its general manager, Frank Cashen, and its managers, the first being Joe Torre.

“You get good people to do a job and then you don’t spend too much time looking over their shoulders,” Mr. Doubleday told The New York Times in 1980. In 1986, when Davey Johnson was managing the team, the pitcher Ron Darling said: “When the dugout telephone rings, you never imagine it’s Nelson Doubleday. It isn’t, and it never could be. Not with that owner. And not with that manager.”

06.16.15

Kareem : Spare A Thought For Rachel Dolezal

Posted in Basketball, Racism Corner at 9:44 pm by

The curious case of former Spokane, WA NAACP head Rachel Dolezal has dominated headlines over the last week,to say nothing of multiple social media references to Big Black’s “Passing Complexion”.   While defending Dolezal as “a fierce and unrelenting champion for African-Americans politically and culturally,” in his most recent Time.com op/ed, Hall Of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar argues Dolezal’s attempt to pass for black is “more a case of her standing up and saying, ‘I am Spartacus!’ rather than a conspiracy to defraud”.

Although I’ve been claiming to be 7’2” for many decades, the truth is that I’m 5’8”. And that’s when I first get out of bed in the morning. Just goes to show, you tell a lie often enough and people believe you. I expect there will be some who will demand I give back the championship rings and titles that I accumulated during my college and professional basketball career because I was only able to win them by convincing other players that they had no chance against my superior height. How could these achievements have any lasting meaning if I’m not really as tall as Wikipedia says I am?

Whatever the reason, Dolezal has been fighting the fight for several years and seemingly doing a first-rate job. Not only has she led her local chapter of the NAACP, she teaches classes related to African-American culture at Eastern Washington University and is chairwoman of a police oversight committee monitoring fairness in police activities. Bottom line: The black community is better off because of her efforts.

Dr. King said we should be judged by the content of character rather than color of skin, which is what makes this case so difficult. So, yes, it does matter. Apparently lying to employers and the public you’re representing when the lie benefits you personally and professionally is a deficit in character. However, the fight for equality is too important to all Americans to lose someone as passionate as she is and who has accomplished as much as she has.

The St. Louis Cardinals Just Can’t Quite Put Jeff Luhnow Behind Them

Posted in Baseball, The Law at 3:58 pm by

Earlier today, the New York Times’ Michael Schmidt reported the FBI is investigating the St. Louis Cardinals’ hacking of the Houston Astros’ internal data, a scheme allegedly provoked by former Cards exec Jeff Luhnow departing to become Houston’s general manager. “We have done what we need to do to minimize information leaking,” Luhnow told the Houston Chronicle in 2014, but it would appear he might not have done nearly enough, at least when it comes to changing passwords when moving from job to job. The Cardinals’ attempts to infiltrate Houston’s network are certainly unethical, absolutely illegal, but as SB Nation’s Roger Sherman explains, most likely, they were also an utter waste of time (“if this were about competitive advantage, it would be a wider scale operation. It wasn’t: It was about making people on another team look dumb because of a personal grudge”).

For most teams, the ability to look into the Astros’ computer system, which has been lauded as an incredibly useful analytic tool, would have been a huge coup. But Luhnow had set up a similar one for the Cardinals, which is how they had the passwords in the first place. The most valuable thing the Cardinals could have discovered with this hacking was something they already had.

So far as we can tell, the information gleaned from the hacking wasn’t massively important. The data that leaked consisted of details of trade talks. It was interesting from an outsider’s perspective — we found out the Marlins kinda maybe might have been shopping Giancarlo Stanton! — but presumably, this is the type of information the Cardinals could have learned on their own as a result of also talking to other front offices.

I’m genuinely skeptical of the on-field advantage an MLB team could gain from even a very detailed peek into the day-to-day operations of one of the other 29 teams in the league. The Astros and Cardinals didn’t even play each other in 2014 nor do they play in 2015. Beyond that, teams post their lineups before games, starting pitchers are scheduled out ahead of time, scouting reports are available on everybody.

06.15.15

Metroplex Scribe : Where’s The Hometown Love For Ornette Coleman?

Posted in record collector disease at 8:13 pm by

Though the passing of free jazz titan Ornette Coleman has been covered far and wide, it took DFW.com’s Preston Jones to wonder why Coleman’s hometown of Fort Worth, TX has failed to properly recognize his vast contributions.

If you live in Fort Worth, the city of Coleman’s birth and where he first picked up a plastic saxophone, you can’t mourn Coleman in front of a statue or a mural or in a park or on a street or in a plaza.

The only place in Fort Worth — that I’m aware of — that mentions Coleman in any kind of laudatory fashion is the Fort Worth ISD Wall of Fame.

Not that the FWISD honor isn’t wonderful (Coleman was a proud graduate of I.M. Terrell High School), but we’re talking about someone who, in the span of his ferociously creative and critically acclaimed life and career, won some of the most prestigious honors that can be afforded a musician — or anyone, really: a Grammy; a MacArthur Genius grant; a Pulitzer Prize.

There are no highly visible memorials to any of the skilled, influential musicians who grew up here: Townes Van Zandt, Stephen Bruton; Ronald Shannon Jackson; Roger Miller, Dewey Redman; and Van Cliburn (though there is a street, Van Cliburn Way) — why can’t fans of these artists come to Fort Worth and find somewhere to pay proper respects?

The failure to appreciate Coleman’s legacy within Fort Worth is not altogether surprising given the way self-styled power brokers continue to diss innovators.

The Pseudonymous Commenters of PFT : As Insightful As They Are Compassionate

Posted in Gridiron at 4:59 pm by

DE Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team saw his career take him to the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes recently after failures to make the Rams or Cowboys’ playing rosters. Putting aside for a moment how cool it is for a football team to name itself after Felipe Alou and his sons, Alouettes GM Jim Popp and The Tapes says of Sam’s recently departure from the club, “he wanted to go home…I don’t think he doesn’t want to play football.” Some of NBC-affiliated Pro Football Talk’s commenters, however, have their own analysis’ of Sam’s woes.

06.14.15

I Hate To Be Overly Critical, But Glen Benton’s Bob Weston Impersonation Needs A Lot Of Work

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 4:35 pm by

Deicide make an all-too rare Austin appearance Monday night at the Empire Control Room atop a six band bill. I cannot promise I’ll be attending this glittering affair, but I am very confident those patrons who turn up will be graced with the considerable wit and wisdom of Glen Benton. Provided they ask their questions politely.

06.13.15

The Think Tank That Might Get Brady Off

Posted in Gridiron at 10:59 pm by

(possible 2015 NFL MVP)

On Saturday, the New England Patriots fired a new salvo in their public relations defense of improper ball deflation charges in last January’s AFC title game against Indianapolis with the publication of the American Enterprise Institute’s scathing rebuttal to Ted Wells’ report on the incident and cover-up. How this may or may not factor into Tom Brady’s upcoming appeal hearing with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell remains to be seen, but consider for a moment who some of the AEI‘s other cronies are besides legions of see-no-evil Pats fans :

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton
Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s lovely wife, Lynne Cheney
Former U.S. secretary of defense and all-around neo-con shitbag Paul Wolfowitz

So congrats to Bob Kraft and Tom Brady on the awesome bedfellows.

06.12.15

The American Dream’s Final Interview

Posted in Professional Wrestling at 10:59 pm by

Audio above courtesy The Two Man Power Trip Of Wrestling, June 9, 2015. Probably the last lengthy interview we’ll hear with the late Dusty Rhodes. That Rhodes recent times included work as a promo coach for WWE’s developmental brand, NXT, is entirely appropriate