Miami’s Dee Gordon Needs A New Valet

Posted in Baseball, Fashion at 9:46 pm by

Despite having outscored the Mets 15-3 over the last two games while taking two of three at Citi Field, the Marlins are charged with aiding and abetting the fashion crimes of 2B Dee Gordon as shown below :

That Gordon is in the middle of an exceptional season for a team with nothing to play for is only slightly mitigating. You cannot take the field with that sort of pants/socks/shoes combination unless you’re some sort of anarchist (and if you are some sort of anarchist, you ought to be emptying Jeffrey Loria’s bank accounts rather than blinding innocent baseball fans).

Hanging Offense : $200 To Bask In Sevendust’s Mediocrity

Posted in Rock Und Roll, The Marketplace at 5:24 pm by

This is right up there with a Blues Saraceno Meet & Greet :



SEVENDUST returns to Architekt Music for their famous Studio Hang/Listening Party on September 16, 2015 – this time to celebrate the release of KILL THE FLAW. The event starts at 7PM! This event will be held at Architekt Music in Butler, New Jersey.


Event begins at 7pm. Doors will open at 6pm. This show is General Admission and is an ALL AGES event.

This will be a night with SEVENDUST unlike any other, and an experience only available at this exclusive event!

Lajon Witherspoon (lead vocals)
Clint Lowery (guitar, vocals)
Morgan Rose (drums, vocals)
John Connolly (guitar, vocals)
Vince Hornsby (bass)

- You MUST bring your ID.
- You and your property WILL BE SEARCHED upon entry.
- This event WILL have restricted audio and video access.
- You may be filmed and/or recorded and by purchasing a ticket, agree to appear on any and all upcoming releases without further permission or compensation.
- There are no tickets to claim nor will any be issued. Your entire party must be present in order to enter the venue and the person on the will-call list must have photo ID on hand.
- Architekt is an intimate-sized venue – moshing and crowd surfing are discouraged and any such behavior is at the risk of the patron and may at any time be stopped by security.
- You assume any and all risks occurring before, during, or after event, including injury by any cause. You release management, facility, club, Architekt, and their respective affiliates and representatives from any related claims.
- Entry is revokable. Management may, without refund, revoke this license or refuse admission for noncompliance with terms or disorderly conduct. You consent to search on entry and waive related claims.


Predicting The New York Times’ Next 3 Articles About The Vinyl Pressing Boom

Posted in record collector disease, The Marketplace at 4:59 pm by

(above : a mysterious, boiling vat of something or other,not unlike one Jerry Jones might fall into if he’s not careful)

Do editors at the NY Times routinely read portions of the paper besides their own? I ask because today’s Media section has a longish piece on new pressing plants in Bordentown, NJ and Memphis, TN barely a month after the World section featured the story of Lodnice’s Gramofonove Zavody (aka GZ Media). It would seem the paper of record has moved on from their every-10-months obligatory (you pick) RSD/record shops/”hey they still sell turntables” articles to instead focus on the manufacturing process. It doesn’t take a genius to see where this is going (and that’s pretty lucky, because most of you aren’t geniuses) :

January, Sunday Styles : Matt Harvey and Michael Dorf having brunch (at a pressing plant)

February, Decision 2016 : a Chris Christie photo op at Bordentown’s Independent Record Pressing (suddenly the state’s single biggest employer) turns ugly when crony Jerry Jones falls into a boiling vat of lye. It’s all the more curious because there’s no need for a boiling vat of lye in the record pressing process.

March, Science : Nashville’s URP unveils plans to manufacture a ltd. edition Jack White 7″ on the eve of Record Store Day 2016, but they’ll have it in stores for Record Store Day 2015 thru the advent of time travel.


Gap Toothed Village Whore Shaming Aside, Here’s A Reasoned Take On The Football League’s Mooted Reboot

Posted in Football, The Marketplace at 11:21 pm by

There’s talk of England’s Football League getting a facelift of sorts, with all 3 divisions renamed something more sexy/modern/less confusing starting next season “in a bid to boost the league’s brand identity.” In the considered view of The Set Pieces’ Iain Macintosh, “we need something more tangible than expensively sourced bullshit and glitter”. Not that he can’t be called a realist, however (“you try dragging a nine year old Messi fan boy out to watch Notts County slide down the pyramid and see where it gets you”).

We suffered in the 1980s when the bigger clubs decided that they no longer wished to split gate receipts down the middle. We suffered in the 1990s when the bigger clubs decided that they wanted almost all of the TV money. We’re suffering now because, not content with all of the money, the bigger clubs want all of the players too, stockpiled, catalogued and sent out on loan just in case they turn out to be any good.

We really need the Football League in our corner right now. We’ve tried telling the Football Association about our problems, but they just suggested tossing a squadron of B teams down, a move that would cement our position as the gap-toothed village whores that the young aristocrats come to practice-fuck in exchange for a handful of coppers. We need real leadership and real solutions. We don’t need the people tasked with protecting us to start pissing down our backs and telling us that it’s raining.
The logic of a rebrand simply doesn’t work. No Plymouth Argyle fan has ever refused to go to Home Park on the basis that League Two doesn’t sound sexy enough. No lapsed Carlisle fans would be be lured back if they turned League Two into the Megaspurt Infinity Division. I can’t tell you for sure why not enough people go to Football League games, but I’d imagine it has something to do with the fact that ticket prices for the bottom flight can often be over £20. And it’s fine when you’re single and free, but when children enter your life, the bill starts to rise and before long you wonder if it might not be better to spend that money in a more constructive manner.

She’s Not Gonna Raise Her Blood Temperature For This Stupidity (And Neither Am I)

Posted in Free Expression, Gridiron at 10:43 pm by

At the risk of regurgitating my not-quite-award-winning Twitter feed, I’ll say this much for Giants head coach Tom Coughlin ; it can’t easy taking the heat off Matt Williams. Taking away for a moment the former’s dubious decision to trade 3 points for some 30 yards of field position on Dallas’ final possession — knowing full well a late Cowboys TD + PAT was all the hosts needed to win, consider this :

Stunning stuff, right? While Coughlin’s entitled to his side of the story, I’m inclined to stand in solidarity with the trenchant analyst below :


Hey, If You’re So Tough, Why Don’t You Get In The Ring With Gunner…

Posted in Professional Wrestling at 5:18 pm by

…and try to fix the P.A. so I can make heads or tails out of what he’s saying?


Mike Tomlin : Guilty Of Fewer Fashion Faux Pas Than Most NFL Head Coaches

Posted in Fashion, Gridiron at 4:11 pm by

When you compare the sartorial elegance of the late Tom Landy to slouchy, ethically-bereft Bill Belichick (above), it’s pretty easy to conclude that fashion sense amongst contemporary NFL head coaches has gone down the fucking toilet. Thankfully, the Guardian’s Megan Ann Wilson takes a more constructive, if not totally diplomatic view of the situation, crediting Rex Ryan’s move to Buffalo (“the new red, white and blue color palette of the Bills is much more flattering than the Christmas green of the Jets”), taking a conciliatory stance on Bruce Arians (“personally, I’m no fan of the driving cap but I respect a man who sticks to his signature “), and even finding something nice to say about Andy Reid (“for all I can fault Reid for he’s found what works for him and his frame. I don’t think anyone would recognize him without the curved brim hat, mustache or frame”). But Wilson saves her most lavish praise for Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin (“there is not one head coach in the entire NFL that has better accessories than Mike Tomlin. From his aviators collection, to his beard and pendant necklaces – Tomlin is king of sideline swagger”).

What he’s doing right: Tomlin makes more right choices than wrong ones, one of my favorites is the letterman-style tech jacket he seems to favour with yellow sleeves and minimal Steelers branding on the front. The full beard rather than the chinstrap or goatee is a stronger look while gold suits him much better than silver, except when it comes to the ultimate trophy, of course.

What he’s doing wrong: Much like Sean Payton, polos do nothing for Tomlin as they don’t fit his frame well at all. Thankfully, he wears them sparingly. Unsurprisingly, all his khaki pants or pants need with pleated need to be burnt.

What he should be wearing: Tomlin should stick with his instincts and embrace his flare for accessories. The (almost) all black outfits with touches of Steelers yellow and gold is the most fashionable look of any coaches in the league. I’d love to see him wear a different pair of shades for every game this season – can someone please get him an eyewear deal?


Are You Ready For Rubber Mate-mania?

Posted in record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 8:30 pm by

Every now and then, a unique voice in American music emerges. Maria Callas. Mel Torme. Paul Robeson.

Anyhow, I have no idea if anyone that great is coming down the pike anytime soon and I really don’t care. This is fantastic.


An Important Pair Of Announcements From The Entertainment Arm Of Cumbucket Media

Posted in 12XU, Austin, Internal Affairs, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 5:47 pm by


Austin, TX’s Sweet Talk were formed in 2011 after Stephen Svacina (Uptown Bums, Ex-Mind Spiders) moved from the college town of Denton to the insanely bright, LED condo lights of the Live Music Capital of the World. He wasn’t in Austin long before finding Indiana transplant/guitar virtuoso Mitch Fraizer (Church Shoes, Shawn David McMillen Band, Loteria), sleeping on his couch and talking non-stop about vintage guitars and ICP. Naturally, two soon bonded over their love of 70s British classic rock, early 80s power pop, sandwiches, etc. and began work on a new project.

ST 9 copy

(photo by Jon Chamberlain)

Drawing from material that Svacina had written and recorded before leaving Denton, the two enlisted the rhythm section of fellow former Dentonites Harpal Assi (Wiccans, Video) and Troy Tabner (Uptown Bums, Pharaohs) and in early 2013 released their debut album ‘Pickup Lines’ on 12XU to near universal acclaim. Six months later, they released the Mark Ryan/Jeff Burke produced ‘Flash of Light’ EP with Marley Jones (OBN III’s, ex- Jonly Bonly) replacing Tabner on drums and further solidified their status as master craftsmen of the classic pop song.

Inbetween they did a few jaunts through the United States, played live on Terre T’s “Cherry Blossom Clinic” on WFMU, and had their music utilized in a shampoo commercial that we’re told can only be seen on “Russia’s version of YouTube” (we admit, this sounds pretty suspicious, but it really happened). The end of 2013 prompted a short break for Sweet Talk collectively but not individual, with members spending the rest of the year touring with other ensembles such as OBN IIIs, Church Shoes, and Radioactivity.

The first half of 2014 saw original drummer Troy Tabner return to the fold and well as young blood Jordan Rivell stepping in to take over bass duties. The new ‘Double Perfect’, recorded in part by Orville Neeley (OBN III’s) and Matthew Melton (Warm Soda, Bare Wires), though not a massive stylistic departure from Sweet Talk’s prior works, is arguably their best recording & collection of songs to date (and around here WE LIKE TO ARGUE). Svacina is nudging his way into the pantheon of songwriting greats, and on the all-important CHOPS FRONT, Fraizer is matching him stride for stride. In what may well be a golden age for smart, funny & crazy-catchy rock’n’roll out of this region, Sweet Talk’s world-fucking-class credentials make way more sense on record than on paper. We’re happy to provide both, however. Catch these guys this Fall on tour all over the place (or, if you’re impatient and live in Austin, 9/16 at Cheer Up Charlie’s, 9/22 at The Mohawk or 10/10 at Hotel Vegas).

2) As already mentioned in this space, the new OBN III’s album, ‘Worth A Lot Of Money’ (12XU 084-1) comes out next Monday, September 14. Stream the entire (fucking) thing above , or catch the band as living-breathing-humans at the following venues :

9/12 Metro Gallery, Baltimore MD (with Sick Thoughts)
9/13 Middle East (Upstairs), Cambridge MA
9/15 Union Pool, Brooklyn NY (with Pampers)
9/16 Blue Skies Turn Black, Montreal Quebec
9/17 Spectra Sonic, Ottawa, Ontario
9/18 Smiling Buddha, Toronto Ontario
9/19 Now That’s Class, Cleveland OH
9/20 Cafe Bourbon, Columbus OH
9/21 PJ’s Lager House, Detroit MI
9/22 Empty Bottle, Chicago IL
9/23 Trumpet Blossom Cafe, Iowa City IA
9/24 Cactus Club, Milwaukee WI
9/25 Melody Inn, Indianapolis IN
9/26 Cafe Berlin, Columbia MO
9/27 Blind Tiger, Topeka KS
9/28 Opolis, Norman OK
9/29 Lola’s Saloon, Dallas TX


Mets Fans Celebrate 2015′s Most Exciting Comeback Victory With Typical Perspective, Insight

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression at 5:48 pm by

In which the denizens of MLB.com Forums (well, one of ‘em, anyway) prove to be fat-shamers and sore winners to boot.


Santorum On Mustaine : I Can Pick My Nose, But I Can’t Pick My Friends

Posted in politics at 2:05 pm by

Ever wonder what the world would be like if Blabbermouth.net was nearly as well financed as Vice? Yeah, I know, you’d move to another world. Until that happens, the self-proclaimed CNN of washed-up metal brings us news of GOP Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum admitting (under some duress) that he’s thrilled to have the endorsement of Megadeth’s Men’s Warehouse-baiting Dave Mustaine (above). Or he’s powerless to prevent it. One of those things.

During an appearance at the Sharpshooters shooting range in Greenville, South Carolina, Santorum was asked by Cinco Sanders if he embraced or denounced Mustaine’s “endorsement” of him in the 2016 presidential race. He responded, “one of the things I learned a long time ago is that anybody that wants to support my campaign is free to do so. I used to say this a long time ago… When I started getting involved in politics, I would ask people why they were voting for me, and after doing that a few times, I stopped, because I realized you really don’t wanna know. Sometimes people have the most interesting reasons why they support you. So [what you do now] is say thank you very much and you move on.”

Pressed on whether he accepted the MEGADETH mainman’s “endorsement,” Santorum said: “I accept the endorsement.”


What The Well Dressed (& Possibly Freezing) Tom Brady Apologist Will Be Wearing This Autumn

Posted in Fashion, Gridiron, The Marketplace at 5:56 pm by

If you’re like me, you were wondering just how long it would take the infamous Tom Brady courtroom sketch to be turned into a skirt.

As it happens, it didn’t really take long at all. Don’t you feel super impatient now?

Matt Harvey : Preening, Selfish Coward Or Easy Bait For Inflammatory CSTB Headlines?

Posted in Baseball at 4:24 pm by

(image swiped from Jack Ramsey)

Alright, with the benefit of hindsight (and y’know, sobering up), I do regret the tone of a Saturday evening post that was a little more Dibble-esque than I’m comfortable with. For starters, Matt Harvey didn’t explicitly say he was refusing to pitch beyond 180 innings, nor did he decline to pitch in the postseason. That he chose not to repudiate his agent and promise Mets fans that Terry Collins would have to pry the baseball from his cold, dead hands was clearly not enough for some excitable types (ie., me).

For those who prefer a reasoned take on the past 48 hours’ developments, the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner turns to Dr. Neal ElAttrache of Los Angeles’ Kerlan-Jobe Clinic. While Harvey’s surgeon, the legendary Dr. James Andrews isn’t speaking on the record to the media, ElAttrache — said to be consulting both Harvey and universally despised advocate Scott Boras — seems to think there’s a way to balance the Mets’ postseason hopes with caution for their (bubblewrapped) superstar :

“They probably should consider spacing out his starts and keeping his arm live, using him if necessary in September to keep him competitive and save some bullets for the postseason,” ElAttrache said. “I think that’s probably best for everybody, and I really think everybody’s incentives are aligned here. If you go about it thoughtfully from here on, you can still figure out a way.”

One possibility could be to let Harvey start in the postseason but severely restrict his innings in each outing. This would be an odd sight — an easing-out in October that bookends the easing-in of spring training — but it might be a compromise.

ElAttrache did not question the Mets’ handling of Harvey — “They’ve done the best they can,” he said; “I don’t think there’s a bad guy in this whole thing” — and said that while Boras did not dictate medical decisions, he did ask hard questions and sought answers on his own.


Harvey To Mets Fans : Drop Dead

Posted in Baseball at 5:46 pm by

Though the New York Daily News chose this for Saturday’s back cover, the above image might’ve been more appropriate. With the war of words between agent Scott Boras and the New York Mets escalating, Matt Harvey has apparently sided with the former in the ongoing discussion over whether or not a James Andrews-sanctioned innings limit had been imposed.

Putting aside for a moment Harvey’s right to put his own well-being and future earning power ahead of the club’s shot at relevancy for the first time in almost a decade, how the hell did the situation get to this point with 29 games to play? How could Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson be unaware that Harvey believes he’s on a hard innings limit of 180? How can Harvey publicly moan about the club opting for a 6-man rotation (purely to protect his precious, surgically repaired arm) and then adopt the Boras party line two months later?

It might be the height of exaggeration to claim Harvey and Boras have cast a long shadow on an otherwise fantastic 2015 Mets season, but I don’t think I’m being Rob Dibble hysterical when claiming the following : Harvey’s rep as the consummate competitor just got dented. Does bailing on your teammates at crunch time impact whether or not you get another Sunday Styles feature? Probably not, but some of us were duped into thinking Matt Harvey was a baseball player before he was a brand.


Boras : Mets Will Risk Harvey’s Career Over My Dead Commission

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 6:54 pm by

Chatting with ESPN NY’s Michael Kay today — as you’re apt to do anytime you’d like to send a strongly worded message to Mets management and ownership — agent Scott Boras warned that RHP Matt Harvey is a start or two away from Shutdown City, Amazin’ pennant hopes be damned. “Matt Harvey would love to pitch,” gushed Boras. “But the surgeon who saved his career and other surgeons consulted have said that for maximum safety, he is not to exceed 180 innings for the year.” In case you’re wondering, Harvey’s currently sitting on 166 1/3 innings pitched after Thursday’s shaky effort against the Phillies.

If you find it somewhat curious that Boras would make such a statement on New York radio in early September, not to mention putting his client in a rather uncomfortable position on a day the media would otherwise be stalking Jacob deGrom, you’re not alone, but keep in mind, Boras claims he sounded the alarm far earlier The following quotes from the Kay interview come courtesy of the New York Post and Joel Sherman :

Boras said he contacted Alderson in mid-August by text to have Andrews get together with team doctors about Harvey’s innings. He said Alderson had not responded to him since.

Boras said Andrews did not provide a hard and fast number of innings earlier in the season because he wanted Harvey to think of small hurdles such as reaching 50 innings and not having his eye on a firm cap.

“I have no dispute with the Mets,” Boras said. “I am telling them what the medical people say. Sandy is acting surprised now. But, Sandy, I am doing the work for the client, not the Mets. By the way, I am not telling anyone anything. This is what the doctors are saying. I am simply delivering a message.”

Awful Announcing Has Accomplished The Near Impossible…

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 12:24 am by

…in that they’ve managed to generate some sympathy (on my part, anyway) for serial blowhard Curt Schilling. You might recall that Schilling recently lost his ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball” assignment after taking to Twitter to compare the ascent of Nazism in Germany to the growth of extremism amongst Muslims. Aggrieved by Awful Announcing’s coverage of the story, Schilling sent a somewhat defensive message to AA’s Dan Levy, one I’m not gonna quote from because the former clearly requested the correspondence remain private. Levy published the letter in full, and writing in reply to Schilling, obviously felt his adversary had no right to any expectation of privacy :

You’ve requested that I keep this between us, but you entered my inbox without my expressed permission to be off the record, and I would have said no to that request, asking anything you say be on the record. As you’ve already questioned my integrity, we are where we are, are we not? Respectful to the newsworthiness of this story, I have to decline your request to keep this between us. Had you not blocked me on social media, we could have had this conversation there.

Alright, much as I enjoy watching Curt Schilling’s punditry career go up in smoke, “entered my inbox without my expressed permission to be off the record”? Though I realize the public’s right to sneer at public figures trumps everything, was Schilling supposed to request the right to send an off-the-record email before doing so? Isn’t there enough substantial, deeply embarrassing stuff that Schilling’s committed to public record without needing to publish personal email? That most of the folks reading this cannot stand his politics or legend-in-his-own-mind status is immaterial ; Levy’s upset that Schilling has challenged his integrity, but this is hell of a way to demonstrate such.


A Rather Elaborate Effort To Send Miami’s Diminutive Accu-jack Enthusiast Packing

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 10:48 pm by

Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky reported Thursday that Marlins President David Samsonright hand man of the despised Jeffrey Loria and utter embarrassment to what’s left of Miami’s baseball fans — was the target of an orchestrated attempt to convince media (including the scooptastic New Times) that Samson had uttered racially offensive remarks concerning OF Marcel Ozuna. Trouble is, Samson insists the tape’s a phony, and Petchesky agrees, but not without adding the following :

Of everyone I spoke to for background on this story, not one expressed disbelief that David Samson might have been caught saying something offensive. (A few even blatantly said they hoped he had been.) Not racial comments, specifically, but something controversial. “If you told me an executive had been caught on tape saying something fireable,” one baseball reporter told me, “I’d guess it was Samson before you finished your sentence.”

Samson makes the perfect patsy for a hoax, because he won’t ever receive the benefit of anyone’s doubt. That same widely-held dislike for him makes just about everyone in baseball a suspect in a set-up. But it’s at least as believable as anything else that there really are Marlins fans willing to go to incredible lengths to clear out their front office. And who can blame them?


Attention, Baseball Etiquette Enforcers : Dan Kurtz Fosters Deep, Frequently Viewed Disrepsect Of The Game

Posted in Baseball, We Aren't The World at 4:23 pm by

“Bat flips in Korea are commonly referred to as ppa-dun, a portmanteau word that combines the first syllables of the words for bat and throw, though the English term is used as well,” writes the New York Times’ Andrew Keh in attempting to explain why a post-HR celebration that would send the likes of Larry Bowa into a homicidal rage is no big deal in South Korea. Crucial to Keh’s research is the work of MyKBO.net founder Dan Kurtz of Lancaster, PA a Korean Baseball Organization fan prone to uploading “videos of nice plays, bloopers and absurd ceremonial first pitches.”

Kurtz first injected Korean bat flips into the American sports consciousness on May 15, 2013, when he alerted a few websites about a video that showed Jeon Jun-woo, an outfielder for Lotte, aggressively tossing his bat and celebrating a blast that ended up being caught on the warning track. It was Korean bat flipping’s first viral moment.

These days, Kurtz posts bat flips to his Twitter account when he deems one “bat-flippy enough” — that is, it has the speed, trajectory and accompanying pose to please American tastes — and they are disseminated to the masses from there. He said that the number of fans expressing dismay at the bat flips seemed to have decreased since 2013, possibly signifying a relaxing of American baseball mores.

“I used get a lot more comments like ‘That guy needs a 95-mile-an-hour fastball to the head,’ ” said Kurtz, who now lives in Seoul, where his wife is a military physician.

“Well, you still have those,” he added, laughing. “They’re called St. Louis Cardinals fans.”


Is Kanye West The Sanest Person On TV? Callaci On The VMA’s

Posted in non-sporting journalism, The World Of Entertainment at 4:31 pm by

I missed Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards for maybe the 6th or 7th year in a row, figuring correctly that a) the music’s not for me, b) wardrobe malfunctions and/or moments of controversy, contrived or otherwise would be circulated on social media, and c) any attempt to avoid a Wayne Coyne cameo with host Miley Cyrus would be rewarded in the form of brain cells saved rather than squandered.

What I wasn’t counting on, however, was a Video Vanguard Award acceptance speech by Kanye West (above, right) that threatened to extend until the 2016 VMA’s. Writing for BK Nation, Refrigerator’s Allen Callaci calls West’s monologue, “the only moment of genuine artistic rebellion and provocation to be found in the two-hour plus Trojan condom-sponsored celebration of manufactured and copyrighted rock ‘n’ roll craziness.”

I still don’t understand award shows. Five artists work their entire lives, win, sell records, sell concert tickets, come, stand on a carpet and for the first time in their life, be judged, and look like a loser.

When was the last time a major musician with a national platform spoke that kind of inglorious truth about their industry?

Kanye may be married to a two-dimensional reality star, he may be written off as a whiney hypocritical millionaire mercilessly gnawing on the fingers attached to the hand that feeds him, and his VMA speech may be easily ridiculed as a bunch of “chemically enhanced” blather (by his own admission he had “rolled up a little something” before he gave the speech). Those factors do not diminish his central point: The intrinsic value of art gets diminished the second it needs to be validated by the handing out of trophies from a third-rate bowling league.

Even If 2015 Had Turned Out Differently, We’d Still Be Very Lucky To Have Howie Rose

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 10:52 am by

Video link culled from Mets Police. Howie Rose, despite being in the unenviable position of having his play-by-play work compared to predecessors Gary Cohen and Bob Murphy, remains the best single thing about being stuck in traffic on a weeknight. Though my admiration for his work is almost boundless, I do think there’s an outside possibility a similar interview clip focusing on the first time John Sterling attended a Broadway musical might be nearly as enlightening.


Mets’ Granderson Swaps Batting Helmet For Tin Foil Hat

Posted in Baseball at 1:55 pm by

(above : documentary highly regarded in the Granderson household)

The 2015 rebound of Curtis Granderson is just one of several feel-good storylines for the NL East-leading New York Mets, but if you were hoping the outfielder would discuss something as benign as his auto insurance with the local press, you’ll be disappointed. On Sunday, the New York Post’s Steve Serby quizzed Granderson on a number of topics, including but not limited to the difference between the latter’s haircut and that of Jacob deGrom (“I wouldn’t go through the hat phase of it, so if I could wane up with a ’fro I would do it, but I don’t want to go through the in-between phase of it”), Alex Rodriguez’ unlikely comeback (” it’s a testament to how competitive he is”), bachelor life (“when marriage ready to happen, it’ll happen..no set time frame or timetable on that”), and most importantly, the phony fucking baloney Apollo moon landing!

Q: You’re one of the most polished, politically correct athletes I’ve ever dealt with. Now say something controversial.
A: Let’s see … I can probably go with … I had this conversation with people — if we landed on the moon, how come we’ve never been back? I think there might be some conspiracy stuff to that.
Q: You do?
A: We haven’t been back, it’s been [43] years, technology’s all gotten better, and I’ve actually looked that one up a little bit and saw something on the NASA website and it said something that that space shuttle that was made back then is no longer made any more. They’re making one now, but it costs $30 billion to be able to go there. And we’re constantly coming back, you always hear of spaceships landing: oh, so-and-so just got back from its mission … where’d they go, you know? No one else in the world has ever been, so…


If You Had Mariners Fever, Jack Zduriencik Was The Cure

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 6:03 pm by

Amongst the highlights of Jack Zduriencik’s tenure as Seattle GM ; the acquisition of an accused rapist, a feigned zeal for statistical analysis, and presiding over a rehabbing player being pelted with an ice cream sandwich by an M’s scout. Zduriencik (above) was relieved of his duties early Monday, and U.S.S. Mariner’s Marc W. suggests his love affair with the Mariners has been forever tainted by the former GM’s underachievement, or if you prefer, “the intensity of my fandom’s been permanently restricted”.

A big part of that might be age and life and the way 518 losses in 5.5 years rewires your brain to spare you some pain. But a part of it is that we fell too hard for the idea that the right executive is all you need. That a General Manager can remake an organization, from top to bottom, relatively quickly and have everything just work out. We see this all the time – Cardinals fans believe in their org, and Astros fans will tell you more than you wanted to know about their vaunted Process. But the more you look into them, the more you see just how extensive change needs to be. The Cards aren’t the Cards because of their GM, they’re where they are because of dozens or hundreds of people. A leader can be vital in creating and nurturing a culture that works for player development or pro scouting, but it takes an entire organization to make it work. As fans, we thought at one point that Zduriencik was a kind of cheat code – his blend of scouting acumen and willingness to listen to newfangled metrics would blend the best of old school and new and make the Cardinals look like the St. Louis Browns in short order. Instead, what we saw was a front office that seemed to be at war with itself. Instead of creating a culture, the GM created a growing list of enemies. Nearly every group – from Pro Scouting to Player Development was overhauled, and nothing much seemed to change.

The M’s front office was incapable of building a team to reliably compete in the AL. The M’s realized this and made a change. Realistically, the M’s are further from their goal of competing in the medium term than they were before the year started, but even this helped clarify things and point a way forward. We knew before the year that the M’s had risks at the catcher spot, the bullpen and CF, and those risks have ended up sinking the season. The risks have turned into a shopping list or a player development challenge. Someone else will figure out what to do about these issues, and I’m excited to see what they do. I’ll just never be excited as I was in December of 2009 again.

Vice Scribe Argues Vehemently For The Right To Objectify Bartolo Colon

Posted in Baseball at 5:21 pm by

“The more sports culture treats women as human beings with feelings and not as some caricature of what women are supposed to be, the more likely the space will become safer and more welcoming for everyone,” writes Vice Sports’ Stacey May Fowles, arguing, “as absurd as it might seem, the freedom to talk about desire without judgment and dismissal is definitely a part of that.” And she’s got a point — when have male fans been discouraged from expressing their true desires?

It seems that sports culture can’t reconcile female desire with knowledge, so if you’re admiring the finer points of Josh Donaldson’s unstoppable swagger—his “liquid hot sexual gold,” as certain aficionados have been known to call it—you can’t possibly understand the mechanics of his MVP-worthy work at third base. Logic would dictate that I can find him stunning and still understand how the game works, and even be an expert on it. Yet, for whatever reason, acknowledging that I notice how pretty he is somehow becomes a shameful admission. I am forever a guest in a man’s house, and am expected to watch what I say and police what I feel accordingly.

Quite frankly, I’ve grown real tired of pretending that Bryce Harper isn’t a scorchingly beautiful specimen of masculinity. I’ve become exhausted denying that Buster Posey has the most adorable, angelic boy-band face I’ve seen since perusing Tiger Beat as a teenage girl. I’m weary from saying that Justin Verlander’s pants look “uncomfortable,” or that Matt Kemp looks “like an athlete.” I’ve actually come to think that every time I deny my inevitable attraction to players—I’m only human, and you know what Matt Kemp looks like—I’m supporting that terrible notion that real fans don’t have crushes, or that crushes hysterically cancel out all other considerations, and finally that women should simply shut up about how they feel if they want to watch a game with everyone else. A more cynical observer might even wonder if this gag rule has more to do with a threat to the general fan base’s masculinity than any real “respect for the game.”


Northeastern Univ. Professor : Stop Stigmatizing Michael Vick

Posted in Dogs, Gridiron at 11:34 pm by

Pittsburgh’s signing of free agent QB Michael Vick (above to backup Ben Roethlisberger has angered a portion of Steelers fans no doubt mindful that Vick was very much a hands-on participant in the abuse & murder of dogs. Speaking with the Post-Gazette’s Megan Ryan, Jack Levin,co-director of the Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict at Northeastern University, argues that Vick, “has been stigmatized, no doubt about it”.

Mr. Levin co-wrote a study that found people have more empathy for dogs than for human adults, and he said that concern for what people see as vulnerable and helpless animals could be why the quarterback has been denounced by the “informal system,” even though he has endured the consequences of the criminal justice system.

But there are, as always, two sides to the story. Although those against the quarterback have been active on social media and made an impromptu protest of about a half-dozen people at the Steelers’ practice facility Wednesday afternoon, there are many in support of him and how he can help the team. One commenter on Facebook said, “He paid for his mistake, so doesn’t he deserve to make a living like everybody else?”

“Those who are forgiving see Michael Vick as having paid the penalty, and they also may see him as remorseful, a man who understands that he did the wrong thing and won’t do it again,” Mr. Levin said. “And ideally, that’s really the way the criminal justice system should work. People go to prison, they pay for the crime that they committed and then they should be able to live a life pretty much like everyone else.”

Putting aside for a moment whether or not there’s something screwy about Vick’s abuse of dogs being more offensive to some than Rothlisberger’s alleged treatment of women (you’ll note Rothlisberger’s never been charged or convicted), surely Professor Levin is not so naive to think that Vick simply aspires to “live a life just like everyone else”. The Steelers are one late hit on Big Ben away from Vick essentially being the face of the franchise, a face that’s still synonymous with animal cruelty. In the unlikely event Aaron Hernandez were released from prison while still in his athletic prime, would Levin argue the former returning to an NFL roster was simply a matter of not denying him a right to work? If Jerry Sandusky somehow manages to live to be 107 years old and is granted early parole, is a major college football program obliged to help him “live a life like anyone else”?

There’s no shortage of persons with criminal records who struggle to get second chances, who find empathy in scant supply. By contrast, Michael Vick’s last contract with Philly included $40 million in guaranteed cash atop a $16.5 annual salary (he earned a subsequent $5 million in 2014 with the Jets). There’s no evidence he’s suffered any sort of unjust career setback since reinstatement and if he’s not universally popular…what exactly do you expect, Professor Levin?

The Only Music Snobbery Quiz That Matters

Posted in non-sporting journalism, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll, The Internet at 12:49 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : folks keep circulating that silly Buzzfeed “How Much Of A Music Snob R You?” quiz circa 2014, and I only scored a 59 out of 100. That’s a pretty fucking mediocre score considering I’m one of questions, and I will KNIFE FIGHT anyone who challenges my snob credentials, musical or otherwise. But let’s face it, the quiz is ridiculous — LOTS of non-snobs have purchased import titles or can identity John Peel.

So with that in mind, I’ve prepared a “THIS IS HOW MUCH OF A MUSIC SNOB YOU ARE (YOU FUCKING SNOB)” quiz that I’m certain will set the internet aflame and probably result in my server company (finally) giving me the boot later today. I’d say it was nice knowing you, but that would be a lie – GC)


Stopped fucking someone because you found a DMB CD in their house?

Told a prospective employer and/or parents of a fiancee they were total morons because they didn’t know which member of Bush was in Transvision Vamp?

Told a member of Transvision Vamp they were a total moron?

Spent a wake flipping through the deceased’s record collection?

Masturbated to discogs.com?

Told a Holocaust survivor, “at least you didn’t have to go to Burgerama”?

Compared Burgerama to Record Store Day?

Launched an unsuccessful Kickstarter to fund a Dylan Cohl doc?

Started a gofundme to finance a Dave Bass doc (and used the money to buy records for yourself)?

Repeatedly friended/defriended Henry Owings just to try and get his attention?

Possessed a driver’s license or birth certificate featuring the name “Ned Hayden”?

Refused to pose for a photo with George Wendt because he likes Buffalo Tom?

Heard the opening notes to “Rhiannon” and immediately started thinking about The Rotters?

sold Todd Benzinger a Skrewdriver record on eBay (NOT AN EARLY ONE, EITHER) and then ratted him out online?

Found whoever was responsible for some “musical guilty pleasures” clickbait/slideshow and planted shit on their computer making it appear as though they were plotting to blow up a government facility? (TOP THAT, MR. ROBOT)

Disowned one of your own children for posting the H.R./Brooke Shields pic weeks after everyone else did?

Refused to write about food and/or write appointment TV recaps simply because you’re terrible at transitioning into adulthood?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of the above, you are absolutely a music snob. If you answered “no” to any of the above, I don’t know what your problem is and really can’t relate to you at all.