Pedro Moreno’s Epistrophy Arts has brought Peter Brötzmann to Austin at least 6 times in the last 8 years, which is pretty staggering. I write this not to suggest tomorrow night’s performance by Brötzmann, Jason Adasiewicz, John Edwards and Steve Noble is something we”ll be able to catch again anytime soon (chances are, we won’t) but rather that we’re impossibly lucky this ever happens within driving distance.
Former Mets SS Jose Reyes was hit with a 51 game suspension earlier this week by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred for his part in an incident with his wife, Katheryn, for which he’s not been criminally charged. In the view of the New York Daily News’ Kristie Ackert, the punishment isn’t nearly severe enough, reminding us, “let’s be honest, the 52 games for Reyes and 29 games for (Adrolis) Chapman are less than they would have received had they tested positive for an anabolic steroid or were caught buying HGH.”
The details of these incidents are frightening. According to reports, Chapman’s girlfriend told the police that he pushed and choked her. Chapman said there was an argument, but that he was pushed down by his girlfriend’s brother. He said he eventually got a handgun and fired eight shots into a wall and window while locked in his garage. The authorities in Florida declined to file charges, saying conflicting accounts and insufficient evidence made a conviction unlikely.
Mets closer Jenrry Mejia was hit with an 80-game suspension last season for testing positive for an anabolic steroid. Threatening or committing violence deserves at least that.
Eater is not all-powerful by any means, but the Solares story raises the question: Who is forming the identity of this industry? The people living in this city? The people cooking the food? The people serving us? Or the former skinhead assigning restaurant reviews? Helen Rosner, the site’s executive editor, compared it to shoplifting at the age of 23. There seems to be an unwillingness to examine potential bias or a willful misunderstanding of bias in his position and how it works.”
For those keeping score, Gawker’s zeal in recirculating Solares’ story is in very stark contrast to the online media company’s radio silence concerning the below photo of former Deadspin editor Will Leitch :
The photo in question has appeared on this site no fewer than 8 times since 2008, appearing for the first time several months before Leitch’s departure from Gawker Media. Leitch, whose tenure at Gawker went an awfully long way towards establishing Nick Denton’s commercial viability, faced zero questions about the photograph in questions, and nobody in the Nü Media landscape held his publisher to nearly the sort of scrutiny Eater’s parent company, Vox Media is experiencing today.
None of which is to say that Solares oughta be given a lifetime pass for hateful sentiments (or shitty music). But I don’t think Solares’ ascent in the world of food blogging (yes, I am typing those words with a straight face) is any more or less a commentary on institutionalized racism than Will Leitch’s teflon-face.
(ADDENDUM : kind of amazing timing from another Gawker property today).
OK, that’s not exactly what the Guardian’s Graham Ruthven had to say about former Chelsea captain, the 35 year old thought to be eyeing a retirement tour with whatever attention-starved Major League Soccer side (over)pays for him. Writes Ruthven, “he is a harasser of referees, an alleged destabiliser of managers who are not Mourinho, and, increasingly, a red card waiting to happen: he’s been sent of twice this year. That’s just his sporting flaws.”
Off the pitch is where Terry really blots the scouting report of any MLS team taking a look at him. In 2012, he was alleged to have racially abused QPR’s Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League fixture. A criminal case found Terry not guilty of racial abuse, but the FA thought different, handing him a four-match ban and a £220,000 fine after an independent inquiry, and eventually stripping him of the England captaincy. Factor in the occasional parking in handicapped spaces and the drunken mocking of American tourists in the aftermath of 9/11, and it becomes clear that Terry’s reputation is that of soccer’s ultimate pantomime villain.
It was difficult to feel sympathy for Terry, even during his greatest footballing indignity – when he missed a crucial penalty kick in the 2008 Champions League final – given the melodramatic way in which he adjusted his captain’s armband before taking the shot. If MLS is in the business of attracting fans, making public figures of their biggest names and best players, Terry is not the sort of player whose face would work well on a billboard. He’s hardly the most natural guest to appear on the Ellen DeGeneres show.
As you’re certainly aware, on Saturday night, Mets starter Bartolo Colon, 42, became the oldest player in MLB history to hit his first career HR, lining a pitch from the Padres’ James Shields over the left field fence at Petco Park. Colon, whose adventures in the batters box have been the subject of national mockery for some time now, was hailed far and wide for this most unlikely of blasts, but it seems the MLB Network’s Christopher Russo was less than impressed :
“No one cares?”, Dog? Would the internet have been broken in half had this preposterous HR not been hit? Would highlights shows that possess 5000X the viewership of Russo’s “High Heat” segment have replayed the historic achievement were this merely a matter of fascination to Mets fans?
It’s all too familiar for Russo to dismiss an event in the sports world with the claim it’s not big time enough to warrant discussion or even cheers. The irony of course being that Russo’s satellite radio program — redefining phoned-in on a daily basis — is heard by a fraction of the audience he used to annoy while working alongside WFAN’s Mike Francesa. A broadcaster who rewards Sirius / XM subscribers and shareholders by talking about his kids’ pee-wee hoops excursions considers Bartolo Colon’s first (and possibly only) big league HR something less than newsworthy.
“I’ve got to tell you something folks. You know, I’ve been called every name in the book doing this job since the early 90s. Good names, bad names, and everything in between. I’ve been called everything from a pillar in the community to a guy who’s the best who did it in Chicago’s history to a racist and a sexist. I’m going to just tell you right now what everybody else doesn’t want to say, except maybe the regular fan who you see on social media: Jessica Mendoza is the worst baseball announcer who has ever announced the game of baseball. Now, if you want to call me a sexist, go ahead. But I’m an observer, and I’ve been observing and listening to baseball announcers for 20, 30, 40, 50 years. And I’ll tell you right now I don’t care if you’re Cassidy Hubbarth, I love Cassidy, Christine Brennan, Michelle Beadle, these are all people I respect, Ann Meyers, Cheryl Miller. You want me to go on? Pam Oliver. Because apparently I have to tell everybody nowadays – because of the PC crowd – the females I like before I can criticize one. If Jessica Mendoza continues on I believe someday they’re going to have to replace her, unless the rating are okay, but I don’t care. What I do now is I shut the sound down to watch that game; she’s just not a good announcer. If she was a man, she’d be (fired like) Tony Kornheiser or Dennis Miller. OK? And that’s the God honest truth about it. Period. End of Story. I listened for an inning last night, and I had to shut it off.”
Wow. Worst baseball announcer ever. You hear that, Fran Healy? You’re finally off the hook.
Government Issue vocalist John Stabb passed away yesterday at the age of 54 as a result of stomach cancer. There’s no exaggeration in saying John was one of the most talented and entertaining microphone-wielders of his era. He’s every bit as memorable (if not more so) simply for being a terrific guy. Walking-talking-funny-pants-wearing embodiment of everything a musician, music fan and friend oughta be.
Much will be written about G.I.’s role in the growth of the DC hardcore scene and U.S. punk in general, but genre qualifications be damned. For those lucky enough to have seen them repeatedly, Government Issue were one of the planet’s best bands, period. Their 3 studio albums on Fountain Of Youth are fantastic ; the pair of semi-crossover-y albums for the short-lived Giant label are nearly as awesome. There’s odds & sods bits on Mystic and Lost & Found that are either essential or skippable depending on your POV. But the live shows were killer thru myriad lineups…and John + guitarist Tom Lyle oughta be considerate one of the great partnerships of any era.
On or offstage, my memories of John are that he carried himself with the sort of dignity and humor that’s often in short supply, especially in mob scenes (and that’s not limited to hardcore shows). My thoughts this morning are with his friends, family and bandmates.
But I digress. Salon’s Kate Harding threw a media pundit shit-fit over the AP’s 2009 Female Athlete Of The Year poll, one in which Breeders Cup winner Zenyatta finished a distant second to Serena Williams, and Belmont Stakes victor Rachel Alexandra came in 7th behind UConn hoops standout Maya Moore. And to be totally truthful, I was disappointed in the AP’s results, too. No love for soccer thug Liz Lambert? Zero recognition for South African track and field pioneer Caster Semenya? Clearly, these AP voters care even less about women’s sports than this blog’s publisher.
However, that’s not the source of Harding’s gripe. “I can’t help noticing,” she wrote “that Zenyatta and Alexandra are not human, which — call me speciesist — is something I usually expect from an ‘athletes of the year’ list. Perhaps if the AP folks had given the subject a bit more thought, they might instead have chosen to honor, say, Rosemary Homeister, who in 2009 became the second most successful female jockey of all time. Or, you know, any other two women in sports, leaving Zenyatta and Rachel to duke it out for Horse of the Year. Something more like that?”
I’m sorry, but did we learn absolutely nothing this year from “District 9″? Much the way great sportspersons/pioneers such as Semenya, Renee Richards and John Kruk have forced the world to reconsider outdated gender roles, maybe the AP ought to be applauded for looking past something as ultimately trivial in 2009 as species? Certainly Harding has a point when complaining none of the male athletes on their 2009 list had to share the top ten with horses, but that list is a farce, too! Some jumpsuit-wearing d-bag driving around in a circle is a better athlete than than this glorious competitor? I (fucking) think not.
There’s some precedent for the AP’s ranking horses alongside humans. Secretariat only finished 6th amongst male athletes in 1973, despite winning the Triple Crown. Naturally, the human-biased sports media sided with such flash in the pans as Hank Aaron, Bill Walton and some nobody named O.J. Simpson. Apathy towards female athletics is regrettable, sure. Maybe even inexcusable if you fancy yourself a halfway intelligent sports fan. But must Harding diminish the achievements of my stall sisters just to advance her own horse-hating agenda?
After Wednesday’s heated exchanges between Charles Oakley and TNT anylyst Charles Barkley, the former spoke with Daily News hoops columnist-turned Sirius XM host Frank Isola and continued to unload (“everybody that I know who played with him, they said he was the worst guy in the world to play with…he’s just trying to be on TV, trying to be Mr. Basketball. And his I.Q. is not that high for basketball.”) Who knew the shy, reticent former Knicks enforcer had such strong opinions? Transcription courtesy the New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy :
“It ain’t about fighting. He just talks too much at the wrong time,” Oakley told Isola. “Like a spoiled kid. He’s from Alabama, he should have more home training, you know? He’s one of those kids who say he’s from the south side of Chicago but he got a ride to school every day. He ain’t walking down the block. He got dropped off, the principal brought him back home.”
“He can’t say nothing about Cleveland as long as I’m from Cleveland, that’s the mistake. He shouldn’t even let somebody else talk about Cleveland,” Oakley said. “He’s been in Cleveland, he got away with one thing, he ain’t getting away with two things. My grandfather always told me, ‘You have to tell somebody something twice? No, you tell them once. They don’t get it? Next time, I’m sending a message.’ So he got the message. Nothing over the top. But, I mean, come on. Pick on somebody else. Pick on another city. You ain’t gonna talk about Compton. … If he comes to Cleveland somebody’s going to throw something at him. They can’t miss that big head.”
Astros CF Carlos Gomez is off to a miserable start this season, as is his last-place Houston ballclub. However, it’s Gomez that was singled out by the Houston Chronicle’s Brian T. Smith on Thursday, suggesting the flamboyant 2015 acquisition needs to dial down the “sexy” (“we’ve witnessed the dabs, team-first taunts and me-first prancing all across the field”), but a quote from a seemingly contrite Gomez struck (at least) one observer as poorly handled on the journalist’s part :
“For the last year and this year, I not really do much for this team. The fans be angry. They be disappointed,” said Gomez as he roamed center field against the team with which he spent 2008-09.
Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra scanned the confession above and declared, “it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the quote’s imperfect English fits satisfyingly into a column designed to rip Gomez and that it’s going to play right into stereotyping a certain sort of reader who has just HAD it with those allegedly lazy, entitled Latino players likes to engage in.”
For the record, its not uncommon for other players whose grammar is less than perfect to get [the bracket treatment] to make the mistakes less noticeable. Or, if the quote is less than clear or enlightening, to get the paraphrasing treatment and have his sentiment conveyed in keeping with the intent of the sentiment. I guess Gomez doesn’t get that treatment.
If you’ve followed the WWE tenure of Ryan Reeves aka Ryback aka the guy who C.M. Punk says is pretty sucky at taking care of opponents, aka the poor man’s Goldberg, you’re no stranger to his super stiff promos and thoroughly unappealing persona. You might not be aware, however, that outside of the ring Ryback is a thoughtful fella, one who has taken the opportunity of a contract dispute with Vincent Kennedy McMahon to challenge the existing paradigm of how pro wrestling works :
Wrestling is pre determined, we as performers know before we go out to that ring or perform a backstage scene who is winning and losing etc or have a general idea of what we are going to say. It blows my mind how in a sport which is pre determined from a company standpoint winners are paid so much more than the losers. Every single person who works for WWE from top to bottom is absolutely just as valuable as the next. The winners cannot win unless the losers go out there and agree to lose to them.
It blows my mind that in this day and age though we still adhere to this formula. Obviously things have always been this way, but does that make them right? Times have changed and our goal as humans should be to evolve and learn from our past and the past of others so we could make this world a better place. Why is it a guy who is told he is going to go out and lose and does everything he is told be paid not only less, but much less than said winner over a period of time. Every single performer for WWE sacrifices the same amount of time from home and their families and every single man or women goes out and does what they are told. Looking at this formula though losers turn into what fans like to call jobbers and their value decreases in the companies eyes and before you know it they get released. For what? For doing exactly as they are told!
Why not pay the talent equally? The winners have more MERCH as it is or are supposed to anyways so they get that extra perk, but why make the guy who is told to and agrees to lose earn less and sacrifice spots in big pay per view match ups etc. This is one of the major problems with wrestling and WWE today. Most guys take great satisfaction in helping making other talent, the bitching and the moaning we always hear about stems from the fact they know they are ultimately over time going to make less and live in fear of being released.
I am proud to say I have never gone to change a finish and have gladly took pride in helping put over other talent. Hell look at my pay per view record of 12-26 and you will see that has been the pattern of my career. I have always been confident in my ability and work ethic to being my best every day and ultimately always felt that by doing good it was the right thing to do. Personally seeing my money go down over the years though even though I was working as much as ever and being denied magazine covers and other projects as well as watching my role diminish no matter what I did or how hard I tried takes its toll on a human. Being told no matter how hard I work or how good I get doesn’t always pay off is something I fucking refuse to ever believe in my life. I am a creative being and to be restricted time and time again is no way to live life.
This is sort of like someone with a drama degree complaining they can’t make Ryan Reynolds money or something. Of course it’s super arbitrary the way some workers are pushed and others aren’t, but there’s very little to indicate that Ryback moves the needle in such a direction you could really say the WWE is leaving money on the table. Handful of pops early on aside, where’s the pudding-pop-proof? Ryback says merch sales are an unfair barometer (true — he never asked to lose) but he’s never boosted ratings and who the heck is buying tickets specifically to see him? Out of all the men or women the WWE has underutilized, I’m not sure Ryback even cracks the top half dozen.
If Lars Ulrich’s recent words on behalf of record stores weren’t harbinger enough that the vinyl revival has less cachet than Mushnick’s beard, leave it to the PCL’s Fresno Grizzlies to make crate digging seem even unsexier than usual. MILB.com’s Benjamin Hill reports the Grizzlies hosted “Classic Vinyl Night” during last Thursday’s game versus El Paso, apparently the first time someone has tried to combine a record fair and a minor league baseball contest.
Local stores and private collectors from all over California’s Central Valley — “from Merced to Visalia” as Grizzlies director of marketing Sam Hansen put it — participated in the event.
All of the available records were used, with a variety of genres represented (classic rock being the most prevalent). DJ Mr. Leonard was on hand to spin records as the fans browsed, juxtaposing classic Hip-Hop tracks with the songs that were originally sampled. Hansen sees the potential to expand “Classic Vinyl Night.” “Next year, June 1 is the 50th anniversary of [The Beatles'] Sgt. Pepper’s,” he said. “I think we can really blow that one up.”
Hours after the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick seemed to suggest that if ESPN could terminate Curt Schilling for expressing his personal views, what’s up with Chris Broussard keeping his job, the Washington Post’s Des Bieler reports the network edited a rebroadcast of their “Four Days In October” ’30 for 30′ documentary to omit any mention of Schilling’s Game 6 bloody sock heroics.
The recounting of that performance, and Game 6 in general (including Alex Rodriguez knocking a ball out of reliever Bronson Arroyo’s glove), takes up about 17 minutes of the original version of the hour-and-five-minute-long documentary. ESPN apparently wanted to trim “Four Days in October,” which aired on ESPN2 after an Arizona-Oregon softball game and was likely timed to precede a live Red Sox-Yankees telecast on the main channel, down to fit into an hour-long time slot, with commercials.
“When a live event runs long, it’s standard procedure to shorten a taped program that follows,” an ESPN spokesman told The Post. “In this case, we needed to edit out one of the film’s four segments to account for the extra length of the softball game.”
Was it just a coincidence, though, that the segment taken out happened to feature a player-turned-analyst who just parted ways with ESPN under acrimonious circumstances? At the very least, the optics of that don’t look great for the network.
If you thought ESPN’s inevitable/overdue dismissal of baseball analyst/gender studies non-expert Curt Schilling would lead to the 20 year MLB vet keeping a low profile, well, no such luck. On Wednesday, Schilling taped an appearance on Breitbart’s Sirius/XM “Patriot Forum” program for broadcast the following morning in which he raised the specter of an alleged double standard at Disney-owned ESPN. From Newsday’s Neil Best :
“It was apparent to me early on that if you wanted to go off topic as a sports person you had to go off topic left, or you were going to get in trouble,” Schilling said.
“Some of the most racist things I’ve ever heard have come out of people that are on the air at ESPN. They’re some of the biggest racists in sports commentating.”
Asked to clarify his remarks after the show, “You listen to Stephen A. Smith, and Stephen A. Smith was the guy who said that Robert Griffin didn’t play quarterback for the Redskins because he’s black. No, Robert Griffin didn’t play quarterback for the Redskins because he [stunk].
“. . . Tony Kornheiser compared the Tea Party to ISIS. I don’t know any planet where those are sports topics. But I don’t care. It’s OK. I think those conversations need to happen. But as soon as you go to the flip side, the right side, there are repercussions for not talking about sports.”
The part that seems to escape Schilling notice is that Smith and Kornheiser, for all their myriad faults, were hired and are actively encouraged to express personal opinions are part of their on-air jobs. Had, for instance, Kornheiser taken the opportunity to take shots at the Tea Party during his Monday Night Football tenure, it’s pretty likely he’d have been removed from the airways.
In 1993, professional baseball returned to New Orleans when the Zephyrs arrived from Denver. Through attendance records with the opening of Zephyr Field, to a pair of league championships and the city’s first national professional sports title in 1998, the team never had a name that reflected the community it represented.
We want YOU – the fans – to help us re-name the team as we commemorate a quarter-century in New Orleans in 2017. Submit your entry in the form below, and tell us why you think your name would perfectly represent everything that makes New Orleans great. The winning entry will receive two to four (2-4) full season tickets for 2017, a ceremonial first pitch with pre-game recognition, on-air interview during a game’s radio broadcast, a 20-person suite rental, and Honorary Bat Boy Experience for child (if applicable).
It’s a fun idea, but I’m pretty certain my entry — the New Orleans Eyehategods — probably isn’t gonna win.
We’re all adults here. We all know about the hawks and the hornets (thank you, Chris Paul), but were you aware Atlanta’s mascot, Harry The Hawk, is recovering from a nasty spill suffered during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference playoffs against Boston? The following press release, circulated by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Helen Oliviero, suggests the Hawks front office (to say nothing of the medical staff) has come a long way (well, not really) since determining the product wasn’t appealing enough to white people.
Harry has been limited to strict “nest rest” in hopes of having him back in the lineup for a possible Game 5 in Atlanta on Tuesday, April 26, according to the Hawks.
“This is a serious blow to our roster for these crucial games on Friday and Sunday. We are asking for all of our fans to send their thoughts and prayers for Harry’s speedy recovery,” remarked Steve Koonin, CEO of the Atlanta Hawks in a press release.
In lieu of flowers or cards, the Atlanta Hawks are requesting well wishes be sent via social media with the hashtag #GetWellHarry.
…or, if you prefer, proof that even the all-time greats can make spelling mistakes. The Milwaukee Record’s Justin Kern retells the tale of former acquaintance Joan, who during her tenure at the offices of a Los Angeles-based law firm during the early 1980′s, had a rather unique brush with fame :
Joan had a hot car and cool attitude and expensive shades. She was a young badass working in music, which she adored. Joan really dug Prince, especially those first hits. So, professional courtesy was one thing, but if there were a chance to meet Prince, she would take it. Further, she had a teen niece back here in Milwaukee who counted “The Artist Then Currently Known As Prince” as her fav. Joan was already the cool aunt for living in Los Angeles, in every way different than Milwaukee. Giving her niece a document of this cool via Prince himself meant a teenage lifetime of adulation and appreciation.
As Joan told it, Prince came to the office with his team of suits. Everything on the paperwork side of things was quick and orderly. Then, with it all wrapped up, Joan slid next to Prince and pulled out a copy of his 1979 self-titled album. She said he was sweet but brief. She introduced herself, then asked, “My teenage niece, Darlene, loves you. Can you sign a record for me to send to her? Can you write, ‘Darlene, Stay Sweet—Prince’?” She said Prince was courteous—”from the Midwest,” as she explained it to me—and quickly scribbled on the album, writing a nicety on a mass produced picture of his own face. Joan thanked him, and the parties parted, this time without any party. Joan said she mailed it out that day in the hurried splendor of a surprise gift given. She made no mention of his outfit or height, nor of his legal team’s possible use of dyed-purple giraffe blood.
A few weeks went by when Joan got a call at her office desk from her brother. He had finally wrestled the Prince LP from his teenager daughter’s hands and got a look-see at the famous autograph. Prince wrote what? The eyes of a father of a teenage girl do not miss such things. From Milwaukee, he called his hot-shot L.A. sister to complain.
“Joan, you idiot, did you read this before you sent it?” the brother yelled. “He wrote, ‘Darlene, Stay Wet—Prince.’”