Good thing there’s nobody in the sportswriting profession with a drinking and/or zipper problem. Two days after Dallas Morning News colleague Evan Grant adopted a strangely sneery tone in covering Josh Hamilton’s latest setback, colleague Tim Colishaw takes to the same paper’s pages to wonder if Hamilton and former manager Ron Washington’s respective tenures in baseball are over (“I don’t know if it’s time to say we’ll never again see either man in a major league uniform. Seems too soon for that, but sometimes you wonder”)
Washington wants a job but has he really come clean as to why he quit on his team last September? You always prefer to take a man at his word. But if one night of infidelity chased him away from the game — and he almost certainly would be the first if that’s true — why didn’t his positive test for cocaine send him running years before?
I think someone could hire Washington as a coach and maybe next season. But it’s hard to envision unless he’s willing to be more forthcoming.
If you require some precedent in a manager bailing on his players and finding another job soon afterwards, look no futher than journeyman skipper Jim Riggleman, who resigned as Nationals manager in the middle of an 11-1, June 2011 run. The following spring, he was managing the Reds’ Pensacola (AA) affiliate, their Triple A club in Louisville a year later. This February, Riggleman’s in Cincinnati camp as the Reds’ third base coach.
When you’re done comparing the two situations, consider their managerial resumes. Washington went to the the World Series twice. None of Riggleman’s 4 MLB clubs made the playoffs. Riggleman compiled 2 winning seasons out of 12 ; Washington won 90 games or more 4 times. But Wash is the one who’s unemployable. Maybe that’s because, as Colishaw alludes, he’s got a skeleton in the closet much, much worse, than say, Jim Riggleman throwing a fit over his perceived market value.
Anthony Mason took the ball to the hole with all the elegance of a tractor-trailer going over a cliff. A goddamn wrecking ball in shorts that drove opponents (and often his own coach, Pat Riley) bonkers. A summary of his stats/career achievements won’t even come close to explaining how much Knicks fans loved him. Manufacturers of ice packs and heating pads will raise a glass in his honor and when I’m done crying, so will I.
Who amongst us hasn’t stayed awake late at night wondering where Pittsburgh Pirates ownership, management and players stand on the issue of the Islamic State and their horrible executions? I for one have always wondered, if, for instance, Andrew McCutcheon or Neil Walker weren’t closet ISIL sympathizers, if for no other reason than the lawless iconography typified by the Pirates’ club colors and logo.
Fortunately, the club has put such fears to rest on Friday, making it very clear that the Pirates cap sported by the infamous Mohammed Emwazi aka Jihadi John— alleged executioner of James Foley amongst others — was not sanctioned by the team (or presumably, MLB). From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Aaron Aupperlee :
The British news outlet Sky News broadcast a photo of Emwazi, who is linked to several Islamic State beheading videos, wearing a black ball cap with a yellow Pirates “P” on it.
The photo is from when the 26-year-old Briton studied at the University of Westminster.
“The classic gold P stands for Pittsburgh and is worn by our players, coaches and fans with a great sense of pride,” the Pirates wrote in a statement released Friday afternoon. “It is absolutely sickening to everyone within the Pirates organization, and to our great fans, to see this murderer wearing a Pirates cap in this old photo.”
The Fiver’s Paul Doyle describes the above atrocity as an instance of “Liverpool innocently using its position as a much-admired sporting institution to help flog junk food to kids, while Dunkin’ Donuts unwittingly went and polluted the memory of the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy.” And as you might expect, apologies followed.
Fortunately, Dunkin’ Donuts didn’t get where they are today – which is just about everywhere – by not having someone on hand with a bucket and mop to wipe up any unpleasantness before someone slips in it and does more costly damage. “We apologise for any insensitivity regarding our tweet supporting an LFC-themed promotion featuring the LFC crest,” simpered Dunkin’ Donuts after deleting its tweet featuring an altered version of the Liverpool crest in which the Hillsborough eternal flames had been replaced by what appeared to be milkshakes, just like the ones Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling don’t drink on a regular basis. The crest also wrote over ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ with the similarly inspiring ‘America runs on Dunkin’’, though evidently there was not enough room to complete the new legend with ‘’but not very far before breaking down and wheezing like a pimply slob”.
In a statement to the Liverpool Echo, the company confirmed that it had deemed the campaign not fit enough to continue. “As a proud partner of LFC, we did not intend any offence, particularly to the club’s supporters,” read the statement. “We have removed the tweet and halted the campaign immediately.”
“As someone who merely publishes articles online, I can’t remember the last day someone somewhere didn’t remind me how stupid I am, or invite me to dislodge my head from my ass,” muses The Daily Beast’s Luke O’Neil. “This obviously increases exponentially with a bigger profile.” One such bigger profile would be that of ESPN late night host (the oft-traveled) Keith Olbermann, who on Wednesday was hit with a three day suspension after an ill-advised Twitter spat with a Penn State student. If you’re wondering why Olbermann would risk further damage to his reputation over such small stakes — keep in mind, some find said behavior totally within character — O’Neill sought out some expert opinions :
Since places like Twitter level the playing field of conversation, “It can be extremely galling for a certain type of person to be criticized by his ‘inferiors’ in a public arena,” says Boston Globe advice columnist and research psychology PhD Robin Abrahams.
“And now this exchange, the first and last interesting thing in your life, is at an end,” he tweeted to one of the many PSU supporters who’d gathered outside the ogre’s hovel, evidence of the type of digital dick-measuring often at work here.
That self-perception, and hyper-sensitivity to sleights can be common amongst the powerful, generally speaking, says James Niels Rosenquist, PhD, MD and psychiatrist at Mass General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
“The first thing to recognize when talking about people in a position of power: One consistent theme in psychological studies is people who crave attention in general, and approval,” says Niels.
That’s why he thinks Twitter is the perfect storm of confluences when it comes to servicing this need.
“It’s a quick hit, if you will, and the parallels to drug use are very similar.”
The rollercoaster ride of Angels OF Josh Hamilton took a rather precipitous drop with Ken Rosenthal’s revelation the celebrated reprobate is facing a likely MLB suspension for something “worse” than PED’s. Though this might be an opportune time to send one’s thoughts to the Hamilton family, the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant — awfully familiar with Hamilton’s tenure in Arlington — chose a somewhat different tact, instead reassuring Rangers fans they’re better off without the guy.
By the looks of everything, the Angels weren’t counting on much from Hamilton this year, anyway. He waited all winter to have shoulder surgery, then underwent a procedure in early February that will likely keep him out until May. He wasn’t even in spring training and doesn’t currently have a locker in the Angels’ clubhouse, but has rather been rehabbing at a friend’s ranch outside of Houston. The Angels, according to the Times, agreed to the odd arrangement, which might be a clue the club feels its less of a distraction to have Hamilton gone.
Now, you can go ahead and laugh.
In the first two-years of a back-loaded, five-year, $125 million deal, Hamilton managed a .255 average, .316 OBP and .741 OPS with 31 homers. By comparison, Mitch Moreland of the Rangers has a .235 average, .299 OBP and .712 OPS with 25 homers in 300 fewer plate appearances for about one-tenth of Hamilton’s salary. He alienated management over those two seasons and that was before the shoulder issue.
And we haven’t even mentioned the decision by Hamilton’s wife, Katie, to join the cast of “Real Housewives of Orange County.”
It all adds up to a very awkward situation for the Angels that would produce only one potential positive outcome for the club: the removal of Josh Hamilton from the picture.
Sportscaster Dale Hansen is no stranger to delivering editorials that run counter to some folks’ expectations of what you’d hear from (in his words), “a big, fat old guy from Dallas, Texas”. That said, in chiming Monday night on the recent display of signs reading “White” & “Power” during a Flower Mound vs. Plano East high school basketball contest, Hansen spoke frankly about the danger of turning a blind eye to such stupidity, but not without detailing his own racial ignorance and how his perspective has changed.
It’s the sort of thing you’re not gonna see on many TV news programs, let alone in the time allotted for sports. Compare and contrast Hansen’s editorial with the work of the Cleveland Fox morning host who insists she was unfamiliar with the slur, “jigaboo” (after using it on live TV) ; the former will likely not see his clip circulated nearly as much this week, and that’s a shame.
Pawtucket, RI’s McCoy Stadium has hosted minor league baseball for nearly 70 years, most prominently in the form of Boston’s International League affiliate. Site of a 33 inning Pawtucket/Rochester game that took more than two months to complete in 1981, McCoy is now in jeopardy of losing the Red Sox to neighboring Providence, a switch Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien claims was a fait accompli, thanks in part to one of the PawSox’s new owners, Larry Lucchino. From the Providence Journal’s John Hill (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory) :
“I can’t tell you half of what they said, because when they said, ‘It’s not going to be Pawtucket,’ that just took the air out of the room,” Grebien said.
They mayor declined to discuss any of the specifics of the new ownership’s plans, or even who they were, saying that was up to them to reveal.
The PawSox signed a new lease just about a year ago that was supposed to keep the team in McCoy through 2021, with a five-year extension after that. But that lease is with the state, not the city, Grebien said, so Pawtucket appears to have few legal options if it wanted to fight to keep the team in the city.
Greiben said the new owners talked about wanting a location with transportation access, to be in an urban setting and be a place were they could create destination type facility.
Not even the star power of LeBron James, let alone the outside chance James Dolan might write another insulting email to an elderly fan, was enough to keep Sunday’s Cavs/Knicks matinee at MSG on ABC’s programming schedule. The New York Post’s Marc Berman reports the game was pulled in favor of some sort of Oscar coverage, “the first time in the network’s 13 years of telecasting Sunday games it has obliterated a basketball window without replacing it with another game, according to industry sources.”
All of the Knicks’ final five games scheduled for national TV quietly have been pulled — vs. the Cavaliers; at the Lakers (March 12, TNT), which had been announced; at the Suns (March 15, TNT); vs. the Clippers (March 25 , ESPN); and vs. the Nets (April 1, NBATV).
The Knicks (10-44) had 23 national games on their schedule entering the season and 13 were yanked, including the last 10 appearances.
In one of the bigger embarrassments of the season, the Lakers-Knicks game on Super Bowl Sunday was pulled off ESPN for celebrity bowling.
Even worse, one of the celebrities was Mark Linn-Baker!
On Friday, Yankee manager Joe Girardi suggested that despite an onerous contract and prior achievements (albeit chemically-assisted) that dwarf those of all other active players, Alex Rodriguez — he of the multiple apologies earlier was week — was no sure thing for the Bombers’ Opening Day lineup. And he might be as washed up as he’s ethically challenged, YES Network analyst Suzyn Waldman insists she finds Rodriguez, “impossible to dislike.” From the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman :
“I’m not defending him. I think what he did was stupid more than anything else,” Waldman said. “I know he’s lied. He’s made every wrong decision. He says things and does things and you just want to say ‘Why?’ I also know you can’t go wrong for dumping on Alex. This is what it’s become. What’s he supposed to do?”
In the next breath, Waldman answered her own question. There’s nothing left for him to do, she said, but play baseball. She tisked-tisked all the talk of distraction, reminding the free world A-Rod is a walking one.
“The way this offense is (coming into spring training) they better hope he still can play,” she said. “Look, it’s not my job to psychoanalyze Alex. What I do, and sometimes don’t, understand is the anger directed at him. This just didn’t start with the steroids. His persona, for many people, has never been likeable.”
If Waldman sounds confused, keep in mind, she considers the likelihood of an A-Rod media circus in Tampa to be a positive (“they (the players) are probably going to like the distraction. Everyone will be in Alex’s corner of the clubhouse and not asking some pitcher why his elbow blew out.”)
Steve Earle Autographed Dollar bill “VERY RARE” Wont find anywhere (north austin)
Went to Steve’s Album release party and had the opportunity to talk with him and go eat at 24 hr downtown. He signed a dollar i had and said hes only ever remembered signing one other one before. I’m in a financial bind and willing to sale it for a decent price. can prove signing have pictures. call or text leaving Austin to go back home at 13:00 on a plane
serious cash offers only…also have his coffee mug ..would be willing to sell both for a decent price
The Hollywood Reporter’s Lesley Goldberg gushes that ABC is preparing “a buddy comedy set in the world of the NBA and centering on a rookie who doesn’t speak English and a translator who doesn’t speak basketball.” Hopefully, this upcoming series, featuring “Pitch Perfect” star Skyler Astin, will dispel many of the negative stereotypes..about translators. Or failing that, the band Translator, whom I always disliked but might actually be OK people for all I know.
Astin — who was fielding multiple pilot offers this season — will star as Jason, a sweet and slightly wimpy guy who was previously with the Peace Corps. A bit of a loser with no athletic prowess whatsoever,? Jason works as a teaching assistant and, while living in his ?parents’ basement, is tapped by the GM of an NBA team to be the translator for Mo, a new recruit from Botswana. A munchkin among giants in the world of professional basketball, Jason soon discovers that he’s being paid to be a lot more than just a translator. He also has to be the new player’s 24/7 guide/best friend/mentor and protector — and find a way to light a fire under this incredibly tall and talented athlete who seems to lack any drive.
Video link courtesy the KC Star and Baseball Think Factory. Since Rockhurst doesn’t have a football program, we’re spared their take on what would’ve happened if Pete Carroll gave the ball to Marshawn Lynch on second-and-goal.
The Mets’ parent company, Sterling Equities, continues to finance the $250 million in debt against the team. Sterling also continues to finance more than $600 million in debt against SNY. Below is a partial schedule of what comes out of team revenues directly in twice-annual debt balloon payments for the next eight years.
June 2016 – December 2018: $21,950,000
June 2019 – December 2022: $22,000,000
The schedule continues like that through 2045.
It all means that the Mets are spending more on financing debt than they are on payroll.
So sure, it’s nice every time the Madoff trustee announces another victory, primarily because it helps people actually victimized by Bernie Madoff. But Mets ownership has far bigger numbers to worry about.
Which is also why you can safely dismiss the qualified comments by new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Wilpon finances. Notice that he insulates himself by claiming no knowledge of their ability to spend just before endorsing it.
After suffering some social media abuse from Mets fans (and/or Mike Francesca acolytes), Kay insists he’s been quoted out of context and fed to the trolls. That’s unfortunate, because there’s one CSTB contributor who’s been in meetings all afternoon with legal counsel to determine if there’s anything legally binding about this $1 business.
“It’s a juxtaposition,” Nickerson said, “to have this center and knowing that most of the national attention Buffalo is getting right now is negative in regards to bullying.”
“Can people be redeemed? Should we give second chances?” Nickerson asked. “Absolutely, if we’re talking about a kid or a first offense.
“I’m concerned about it. If it was just Incognito’s issues from 2013, that would be one thing. But there’s been a history of aggressive and violent and demeaning behavior that is hard to ignore.”
Nickerson, who has a Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of South Carolina, noted it would be unfortunate if Incognito declined to participate in the Bills’ anti-bullying campaigns while here.
“If he’s not involved, then it would sound like people are covering for him,” Nickerson said.
“People should hear from him, and not just an empty message. What specifically has he learned from his past? What he done to take steps to change it? If he had treatment or intervention, how did it make him reflect on his behavior?”
OK, that was the clumsiest headline in recent memory, but not nearly as clumsy as Eagles WR Riley Cooper being the pinup of choice for the month of February on Philly’s official team calendar. While the Eagles have apologized and issued the statement below, The 700 Level asks, “there weren’t 12 players more deserving than Cooper?” Well, it’s not as if Michael Richards or Jesse Helms are on the active roster.
“We do not oversee the production of the annual team calendar. We do not provide any input about the players who are featured or where those pictures appear in the calendar. The NFL licenses the production of that calendar to a third party and we do not have an opportunity to review the material.”
Though James Dolan’s receiving considerable grief for calling an elderly Knicks fan a drunk, keep in mind, Blackpool chairman Karl Osyston recently took to Twitter to call one fan “a massive retard” and announce the latter was banned from attending future matches. On Monday, The Mirror’s Aaron Flanagan reported that Oyston and brother Owen (above, right) are suing an online fan forum over “derogatory comments”.
The Back Henry Street website stated, “to clear up any rumours, on Thursday 5 February 2015, Back Henry Street was served papers from the court, relating to the Oystons’ and Blackpool Football Club’s intent to seek damages for six allegedly defamatory comments made on the site in 2014, limited collectively at £150,000.
“For obvious reasons, we can not go into any more detail at this time. Thank you for your continued support.”
“Players, league executives and owners historically have not been disciplined for similar outbursts,” Silver told the Daily News on Tuesday. “As I said, he reacted in an emotional, impassionate way to a direct criticism of him. That’s not the kind of behavior that traditionally commissioners have become involved in.”
Earlier Monday, Silver called Dolan’s reaction an example of the controversial Knicks and Rangers owner being a “consummate New Yorker.”
Our long national nightmare is finally over ; after 4 years of strained pseudo stand-up and season-long attempts to glue “Survivor” to “SportsCenter” within the confines of the old Tower Records building on 4th and Broadway, Major League Baseball has mercifully pulled the plug the House Of Stupid otherwise known as the MLB Fan Cave. Sports Business Daily’s Eric Fisher provides the autopsy :
The move, led by Bob Bowman, president of business and media, is an attempt to consolidate all of baseball’s social media activities under MLB Advanced Media and the MLB Network. MLBAM had its own active social media agenda separate from the Fan Cave, often creating confusion on matters such as who would take a lead role in promoting coming MLB events.
“We’re trying to be more coordinated in all of our social media efforts,” Bowman said. “This change in structure is helping all of us focus on the same goals, and by putting all of the social media together, we hope to have a more consistent and effective message.”
Several Fan Cave components are likely to live on, including its concert series featuring up-and-coming acts and the creation of viral content with players outside the ballpark. But the original Fan Cave premise of having a group of selected fans watch every game of a season will cease.
Bowman said the decision to shift away from the Fan Cave does not represent a repudiation of the idea (“it would be a shame if that’s the conclusion people come to,” Bowman said).
Sorry, Bob. You’re not gonna spoil this moment for me. I’m gonna conclude we’re living in Repudiation City and you’re the goddamn Mayor.