Swansea defender Chico Flores’ 2nd yellow card in a matter of minutes —- this one for fouling Chelsea’s André Schürrle — resulted in a dismissal that left the hosts shorthanded for more than 70 minutes of a 1-0 loss Sunday. The Guardian’s Stuart James reports that Chelsea in general, John Terry in particular, had undue influence on referee Phil Dowd :
Asked about his part in the Flores incident, Terry said: “I just said, ‘It’s a second yellow for me’. He gave him one a couple minutes before on the halfway line and that one just outside the box is probably even more a yellow than the other one. Fair play to Phil, the ref, it was a big decision to make and I thought he made the right one and credit goes to him for that.
“I’m speaking as a Chelsea player, but when we all sit back and look at it then it’s definitely two yellows. It’s simple as that. If it’s a minute, two, five minutes into the game and it is a yellow or red card then it doesn’t matter. Thankfully we managed to take advantage.”
Garry Monk, the Swansea head coach, was bitterly upset at the time, in particular with the reaction of the Chelsea staff and players. “If you go by the letter of the law, it is a sending off. The more disappointing thing was that it looked like he [Dowd] had signalled straight away ‘no’, as if to signal it doesn’t warrant another yellow,” Monk said. “For their bench and manager to [then] surround the fourth official, and their players surround the referee himself, and then the red card comes so [much] later on, it makes you wonder.
While Mets starter Bartolo Colon allowed 3 consecutive HR’s to Angels hitters in the first inning of today’s game in Anaheim, early indications this season were the 17 year veteran still had something or other in his (very large) tank. “At 40, Colon Continues to Defy Time and Weight” declares the headling of Tim Rohan’s Colon profile in Sunday’s New York Times, a piece that somehow manages to avoid any mention of El Barto’s 2012 suspension for PED use (“if he keeps pitching well, he could turn into a New York folk hero: big, fat and sort of fearsome, defying all logic as he keeps winning games”)
Colon does stretching exercises to try to remain nimble. He also keeps a blue foam cylinder, which is used as a massage roller, by his locker. But lately, he has started smacking the roller as loudly as he can on the floor of the clubhouse, or on nearby chairs and tables, in an apparent effort to entertain his teammates.
“Everybody thinks Bartolo’s a big guy,” said Jose Valverde, recently anointed as the Mets’ closer. “I don’t think so. He’s got a lot of muscle. He’s in great shape for 40 years old.
“A lot of players have a stomach,” added Valverde, no slender guy himself. “It’s no big deal.”
“He’s not transitioning to the backcourt or covering a wide receiver,” strength and conditioning coach Jim Malone said. “Pitching is a skill. Obviously, it would be helpful to be in shape. But he knows how to pitch.”
In an endeavor to make cross-country phone calls stimulating, Reitman toys with an enhanced (and constantly shifting) split-screen effect that, if it weren’t for a commanding turn from Costner, could have been dizzying. Fortunately, the veteran actor appears to relish in GM Sonny Weaver’s view of the Draft Day dilemma, which requires idealism, pragmatism, as well as a sense of humor, resulting in an absorbing and often downright relatable protagonist. That said, the character’s evolution throughout the movie isn’t particularly nuanced – making it hard to believe that Weaver is actually in control of the situation (as opposed to just a lucky opportunist).
Outside of the principle characters, most supporting players are thinly scripted caricatures – which also make it relatively easy to predict where all the puzzles pieces will fit as the narrative plays out. This isn’t to say that audiences will guess every plot point ahead of time, but in spite of high-powered trades, Draft Day rarely offers truly engaging surprises. Ultimately, the only genuinely shocking revelation is just how far Reitman ventures to test disbelief in the final thirty minutes.
Accusing his beloved Miami Heat of intentionally trying to miss out on the Eastern Conference’s top seed, 2 Live Crew’s Luther Campbell takes to the pages of Miami New Times to argue,”a ball club chasing its third title is supposed to do what the San Antonio Spurs are doing — beating the shit out of mediocre teams,” adding, “sometimes, you gotta channel a young Mike Tyson and knock motherfuckers out to prove you are still number one.”
The road to the Eastern Conference finals is much easier for the team that finishes as the second seed. That means the Heat would play the Charlotte Bobcats in the first round and the winner of the Toronto Raptors-Washington Wizards matchup in the second round.
Interestingly, the Heat has posted a combined record of 10-1 against those teams this season. If Miami gets the top seed, the opponent in the second round might be the Chicago Bulls or the Brooklyn Nets, two teams that have proven they can beat the Heat with size and defense.
The Heat revolutionized the game by allowing players to rest throughout the regular season. It began when Pat Riley brought in Shaquille O’Neal. One of the organization’s major selling points to veteran players is that the Heat adds more years to their careers by not playing them the full 82 games. The problem this season is that strategy hasn’t allowed the team to build a chemistry.
When Dwyane Wade did play, he and LeBron appeared out of sync. They need some time to get comfortable with each other. That’s not gonna happen with the Bulls or the Nets.
Another fact is that Fitzgerald received a $2.5 million loan from the school upon signing his last contract. The players, meanwhile, are asking for a seat at the table and an extension of health and educational guarantees. Even if they vote yes, there will be years of appeals. In fact, Northwestern filed suit on Friday, to appeal the original NLRB ruling. Yet despite all of this, it is too much for the ball coach to abide.
Why is Fitzgerald, a former player, pushing back so hard against the efforts to unionize? Is it pressure from the NCAA, which sees unionization as a threat, in its own words, to “blow up” its entire operation? Is it those in power on a Northwestern University campus that has been hostile to any kind of on-campus organizing? Is it pressure from well-heeled alumni who are being very public about why the players need to vote no? Does Fitzgerald simply not want to break the time-honored power dynamic in a college locker room of Coach as God? Maybe it is as simple as the words of ESPN legal analyst Lester Munson who said, “Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald is now in the position of being an employer whose employees are entitled to vote on whether to unionize.” Like so many bosses, maybe he does not want his workers to have a seat at the table. Clearing the table, maybe, but not a seat.
For a variety of reasons, I’ll not be able to attend this May’s Hozac Blackout in Chicago featuring The Boys, The Dictators, Shocked Minds and A Giant Dog amongst others, but I hope to be able to live vicariously through the exploits of the gentleman pictured above. That is, provided you do the right thing and chip in towards his travel expenses. PERCY ROSS IS DEAD, people, don’t make Ben resort to something desperate.
Putting aside for a moment the plausibility of anyone listening to Adam Schein’s radio show, Tigers reliever Joe Nathan claimed Wednesday he was suffering from a dead arm. Speaking with 730AM’s Fred Heumann, the following day, veteran starter / organist Denny McLain asked, “what the hell is a dead arm?”
“Get a shot of cortisone, put a little dirt on it, Joe, kick yourself in the ass and get out there,” said McLain, baseball’s last 30-game winner. “I am tired of excuses. Everybody’s got an excuse in this game today. Get dressed, go play. They’re paying you tens of millions of dollars to play the game and you want to come up with a dead arm?”
“Let’s step up, let’s be a man, let’s retire from the game because our arm is tired and let’s find another guy who can pitch, if your arm is dead,” he said. “That’d be the right thing to do, wouldn’t it? Just walk away from the game, leave $30 million on the table and go home? Wouldn’t that be the right thing to do if you can’t help us?”
Trouble is, the show in question was Monday’s Angels / Astros game, which registered a 0.0 in a survey of Nielsen households in the Houston area. “It probably didn’t help that the Angels jumped off to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning,” muses the Houston Chronicle’s David Barron, though Yahoo’s Mike Oz figures despite myriad poor circumstances (chiefly the poor reach of CSN Houston, currently unavailable on Dish, Direct TV or U-Verse), “0.0 is still troubling news…the last 0.0 came in September, when the team’s season was long over, and it was dwindling in a 15-game losing streak.”
We’re only a week into the 2014 MLB season. It’s the time of the year that every team still has a chance, even the Astros — a team that has lost 106, 107 and 111 games in the last three season. The team’s in a middle of a rebuild and because of that, there aren’t too many players with big names on the field.
But, heck, it’s April. Baseball is still new. Even the perrenial losers haven’t sunk too far down in the standings yet. The Astros won their first two games of the season (against the New York Yankees!) so that was kind of exciting. Momentarily, at least. Houston is 3-5 now, tied for last in the AL West, but with a couple of wins they could be first place by the end of the week. Such is April baseball
Iimagine all the crying about the death of this recent drug-soused entertainment freak has most to do with the unfortunate inconvenience that the other drug-soused entertainment freaks now face. They will have to look for another local, safe and reputable babysitter. No longer will they be able to drop their kids off down the street at Jacko’s to be watched for the afternoon and spend some play time with his own kids.
I hate the paparazzi, and think they should all be shot for the obsessive invasion of privacy. But I’m really going miss ALL those TMZ and Entertainment Tonight video clips of Jacko’s and other celebrity kids playing together. You ever see any of those? Weren’t they great? Didn’t they make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside? Worked for me. Every time I caught one it made me believe maybe he wasn’t a pedophile. After all, famous and rich entertainers, with all kinds of money to go to any expense to have things accurately checked out for themselves, wouldn’t let their own little babies near a pedophile…would they?!
Well, you gotta give him credit for one thing. He spent all his money (and then some) before he died. And that’s not an easy thing to calculate. Go ahead, ask your financial planner if he has a plan to pull it off. For all the horrific mismanagement of millions and millions and millions of dollars, here at the end, Jacko did a pretty damn good job at balancing the books in his favor. Sorry, at my new age and with the way the Obama economic plan is going, I couldn’t help but recognize this stunner.
“It was kind of a throwaway comment at the end of NFL Live,” Schlereth explained on Mike and Mike this week, when asked how he attracted the ire of #RGIIINation. “Trey [Wingo] asked me and Mark Brunell what we thought. And I’m like I understand if you create a logo for your foundation, or I understand if Adidas creates a logo because they’re releasing your RGIII training shoe or something. But to have your own personal logo, I just thought, was like the cart before the horse.
“You know, are we working on branding ourselves, or are we working on becoming a great football player?” Schlereth went on. “You were benched at the end of last season. And so, to me, [the comment] was not a big deal. Well, apparently he was offended by that.”
“All his legion of fans – and good for them, they support their quarterback – were on me,” Schlereth went on. “Bottom line, what do you do with [a logo]? I don’t know if you know who I am, but here’s my logo. You know, it just seemed goofy to me. Again, it seemed like the cart before the horse to me. And so then I was just getting inundated on Twitter with all these crazy things about me being a ‘hater,’ which is one of the most ridiculous terms ever. I just [thought] the whole aspect of creating your own personal logo is kind of ridiculous. That’s how I look at it….I just thought that whole I’m releasing my personal logo, I mean, what are you, a superhero? I don’t know. It just seemed weird to me.”
Baltimore’s 14-5 rout of the Yankees was briefly interrupted this afternoon when a pair of fans took to the hallowed Nu Stadium turf, only to be escorted from the premises by Randy L.’s Crack Security Force. While this intermission had no impact on the game’s result, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones told the Baltimore Sun’s Eduardo A. Encina, “Anybody who does it, I wish the cops tase the [hell] out of them.”
“I think it’s idiotic for people to run on the field, and I think the punishment needs to be a lot harsher, and they should let us have a shot to kick them with our metal spikes on because it’s stupid,” Jones said. “You look like an [idiot] when you run on the field.”
“We don’t go to any other events,” Jones said. “We don’t go to other sporting events and do that to their jobs, but they come to ours and do that. I get it, you’re drunk and you want to be on SportsCenter. Your [butt] is going to jail with a fine, and you might not be allowed to come back to the ballpark. I remember a couple of years ago, one dude broke his ankle in Baltimore. I was laughing at him. I wish he shattered his femur because it’s stupid. It’s just plain old stupid.”
Heck, I’d hate to have to explain it to you. Much respect, as usual, is due to the talented Mike Zaun, but I must nitpick about the performance of the fella who’s meant to be Chris Russo. The real-life Mad Dog isn’t nearly that easy to understand.
Because of Sports Illustrated and the recognition that has come along with it, I still have a voice that people listen to 14 years later. I still get interview requests from names like Geraldo Rivera, Neil Cavuto and Michael Savage where I proudly spread the word about Save Homeless Veterans. I don’t know too many Big Leaguers who haven’t seen action in 11 years that can still do that. I receive requests on a regular basis to speak inspirationally at various charity events as well as a variety of adult and adolescent groups. And the slate of invitations to simply attend and/or sign at charity functions is always full. I truly believe that my time in a Big League uniform in conjunction with the notoriety of SI has allowed me to do more things in my personal life and, more importantly, in the lives of others than I can ever accurately assess.
For several years, though, I took the gross misperception of me by Pearlman personally. I know I’m a good person, and the dozens of individuals from all races and nationalities that came to my defense know it, too. Yet in their rapid lust for the sensational, media largely refused to acknowledge what former teammates like Javier Lopez, CC Sabathia or Eddie Perez had to say about me and our friendship. For years they have refused to observe my life and such aspects of it as my very public three-year relationship with a black woman or my relationship with the daughter of (should be Hall of Famer) Denis Martinez. To publicize any of that would be for media to second guess a member of their own fraternity, which is why the Pearlman description of me is still fact to many.
Honesty has gotten you in trouble with some of the players, right?
You know what? I don’t really care what they think. If they’re a mature ballplayer, they’ll understand what my job is. The older guys, the Jose Bautistas and Adam Linds of the world, they get it. They know I’m holding them accountable, in the same way I [was] when I was playing.
As far as the team not always playing the game the way it should be played, can you give an example of the Jays playing the wrong way?
The fact that a guy like Anthony Gose can’t [use his speed to hit] .300 speaks volumes to me about what’s going on in the minor leagues. The fact that he doesn’t spend an hour a day in the batting cage with a coach, whether it’s by his design or whether they have to grab him by his shirt collar. The Jays don’t draft well and they don’t develop players well. There’s a lack of accountability in this organization, from the top to the bottom.
…or the Newark Star-Ledger in particular. No doubt holding a deep grudge from the way local papers had the temerity to report a 2008 sexual discrimination lawsuit that proceeded her appointment as Rutgers Athletic Director Julie Hermann told a bunch of journalism undergrads the Star-Ledgers recent layoffs were a cause for celebration. From the paper’s Steve Politi :
“If they’re not writing headlines that are getting our attention, they’re not selling ads – and they die,” Hermann told the Media Ethics and Law class. “And the Ledger almost died in June, right?”
“They might die again next month,” a student said.
That two of the 167 people laid off, Brendan Prunty and Dave Hutchinson, had in recent years dedicated their professional lives to chronicling the accomplishments of her university’s athletes just brings it to a perfect level of awfulness. Dozens more we let go at properties owned by The Star-Ledger’s corporate parent – outlets like NJ.com, The Times of Trenton and the South Jersey Times. Included in their cuts, too, were people who have covered Rutgers and its athletes for years.
In a statement from Rutgers, Hermann did not apologize or explain her attack on the newspaper, instead stating that she was sharing her experiences “in an informal way and out of the glare of the media spotlight.” Because who would have imagined that journalism students would have recording devices?
Prodded by the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn for some explanation why the modern NBA is relatively rivalry/enforcer free, ten-year veteran Charles Oakley opines, “back in the ’60s and ’70s, they looked like they were more finesse and they are finesse now.” Asked to elaborate, Oak blames it on a combination of analytics and wussiness.
“The coaches in this league, in this day and era, are soft; the players are soft, how can you build something?” he said. “They put all these stat guys, these analytic guys, and put them on the bench and make them GM because of numbers. My thing with basketball, you’ve got to have efficiency within your structure, like San Antonio. You’ve got to have your players to buy in. That’s what wrong with the league, you’ve got guys worried about social media, my brand. You brand once you get drafted, when you win as a team, you get your brand. When your team wins, then all of those commercials will come. Everything is all about hype.”
Oakley has an interesting theory. He believes in order to globalize the league, ex-commissioner David Stern had to change the rules to make the NBA more inviting for European players. While the rule changes to increase scoring were effective, they made the league less physical.
“When we played in the ’80s, it wasn’t OK [for European players to play in the NBA],” Oakley said. “They weren’t coming over here. They were scared. The game was tough and they weren’t tough. Back then it was 1 percent and now it’s 40 percent and it’s going to keep going up. The dollar is international now. I don’t like 7-footers shooting threes, it’s a disrespect to the game for me. Dirk [Nowitzki] is good, point blank. [Larry] Bird got away with it. A few guys can get away with it because they can flat-out shoot.”
As you’ve probably read elsewhere, there’s an ongoing dispute over outstanding legal fees racked up by Alex Rodriguez, with the suspended Yankee 3B seeking a dramatically reduced bill for he considers a poor performance on the part of his solicitors. Trouble is, the New York Daily News’ Terri Thompson, Bill Madden and Michael O’Keefe claim Rodriguez’ aggressive (and ultimately disastrous) approach was foisted upon the legal team by confidant Desiree Perez, a partner in Jay-Z’s 40/40 chain and wife of Juan (O.G.) Perez, president of Roc Nation Sports. According to the Daily News’ unnamed sources, “it was Perez who convinced Rodriguez to abandon any settlement talks with MLB and the Players Association last summer as it became clear that MLB would hit one of the game’s biggest stars with a massive suspension.”
In a statement to The News, Rodriguez denied that Perez was the architect of his unsuccessful legal strategy.
“I am disappointed that I need to be making any statements about anything at this time, but given how much I value my personal relationships with long-time friends Desiree, Juan and Jay, I need to set the record straight,” Rodriguez said. “So we are all clear, I made my own decisions with my legal team over the past year, and I have accepted my penalties and am trying to serve my penalty without being a distraction to the game of baseball or my team.
“I don’t understand why certain parties seem intent on trying to damage my relationships with friends, but it is what it is,” he added. “I’m sorry they have been dragged into my issues, but the case is closed, I’ve turned the page, and maybe it’s time for others to as well. I wish my teammates well and am looking forward to getting back with them next season.
Another source, however, said Perez was the brains behind A-Rod’s failed tactics: “She’s the one who steered the ship into the rocks but now she’s blaming the captain (the lawyers).”
A mere two weeks after assistant coach Brian Scalabrine was exiled to Golden State’s D-League affiliate in Santa Cruz for allegedly falling from favor with head coach Mark Jackson (above), the Warriors have terminated another assistant, Darren Erman, for what’s being called “violation of company policy”. “Obviously, the timing is unfortunate,” said Warriors GM / master of understatement Bob Myers, and with two weeks before the playoffs begin, the San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami claims, “multiple team sources have acknowledged that things have gotten a little screwy, but it’s also something that I believe owner Joe Lacob is consciously doing.”
Let’s put it this way: The San Antonio Spurs never dismiss key assistants on the eve of the playoffs. Seems to work out OK for them that way.
This all is a sign of violent instability, which usually is connected to a major problem between management and the coach, which usually only gets worse, not better, once it starts, and little things turn into big things turn into crisis mode all the time.
As today’s news was breaking, I was told by a Warriors source that circumstances of Erman’s dismissal are “very, very unfortunate” and made it sound like an isolated incident, but the source also didn’t argue that everything that happens now is against the backdrop of a lot of coach/management tension.
Stephen Curry and the rest of the team leaders support Jackson, now it’s on them to show that he’s the best coach for them. By winning in the playoffs, despite the roiling atmosphere at GSW HQ. That’s the gambit now; it’s not kumbaya, it’s venture-capitalist survive or get dumped. If you don’t understand that about this era of the Warriors, you’re never going to understand them.
That’s pretty much what’s being claimed by musician, author and Jays fan Dave Bidini, who tells Newstalk 1010′s Siobhan Morris, “people go to the games now, have too many beers and expect to be somehow rewarded by a victory bythe team, just simply because they bought a ticket.” Clearly, the team that inspired Drunk Jays Fans has spawned EVEN DRUNKER JAYS FANS (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
“Guys with reversed baseball caps with wrap-around sunglasses coming in from Oshawa or Whitby…who act like jerks and then leave”, is how the Etobicoke native describes the problematic fans responsible for “a lot of vomit, a lot fighting” in the stands.
Bidini suggests the Jays’ own marketing is partly to blame for turning their home field into a “drunken destination point”.
“Baseball, I think has become very anxious and neurotic in terms of their fanbase eroding or dying off. They’re trying to make it come across as a bit more of a young people’s sport.”
Though not a problem exclusive to Toronto, Bidini feels the team is pushing the wrong elements of the ballpark atmosphere to line up with a younger, more party-oriented crowd: lots of contests, big screen displays, giant beers and women’s team shirts that declare “I <3 BJs”.
Bidini is baffled by the level of drunkenness under the Dome, given the price of stadium beer. “It’s not a cheap drunk. Like, you’re blowing a hundred, 150 dollars.” He’s convinced the rowdy, young fans are people just passing through Toronto for the night or a weekend. “If you’re a kid living in the city, you don’t really have the disposable income to go down to a Jays game and drink 17 beers.”
Former NL MVP Lenny Dykstra’s fall from grace has included stints in the stoney lonesome for auto theft, bankruptcy fraud and indecent exposure. None of that, however, excuses the allegedly violent treatment suffered by the former Mets/Phillies sparkplug-turned-scamster at the Los Angeles County Central Jail in April of 2012, at which time Dykstra claims he was assaulted by 6 deputies and had his head slammed against a wall. From the LA Times’ Cindy Chang :
An earlier Sheriff’s Department investigation acknowledged that deputies struck Dykstra but determined they acted appropriately. Sheriff’s officials have said that Dykstra struck a medical technician and a nurse during the incident.
Dykstra’s complaint, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, lists last names, but no first names, for the captain, nine deputies and two sergeants. Other defendants include then-undersheriff Paul Tanaka and department spokesman Steve Whitmore.
Ten nurses and doctors are also named as defendants in the suit. They are accused of not treating or documenting Dykstra’s injuries.
The lawsuit characterizes the incident as part of a pervasive pattern of violence against inmates. In recent months, 21 sheriff’s deputies have been charged with brutalizing inmates and other crimes. All have pleaded not guilty.
“In order to create their atmosphere of fear and brutality, the sheriffs often targeted those who were least likely to fight back … depending all along for the quiet complicity of the medical staff in not documenting, not diagnosing, and not treating injuries from those beatings,” said Dykstra’s complaint.
Esiason insisted that, because the baby was expected to arrive near the beginning of the baseball season, Daniel Murphy should have forced his wife “to have a C-section before the season starts.”
“‘I need to be here Opening Day,’” Esiason said Murphy should have told his wife. “‘I’m sorry.’”
His co-host Craig Carton agreed, saying that “assuming the birth went well, the wife is fine, the baby is fine, [you should get] 24 hours and then you get your ass back to the team and you play baseball.”