07.03.16

NYDN Scribe : If Goading A Mets Icon Into Retirement Is Wrong, I Don’t Wanna Be (W)right

Posted in Baseball at 12:34 pm by

A plethora of injuries have plagued Mets captain / 3B David Wright the last several years, most prominently his spinal stenosis and recent herniated disk in his neck. While Wright insists he’ll make a full recovery in time for the 2017 season, the New York Daily News’ Ebenezer Samuel — perhaps serving as ghostwriter for Fred and Jeff Wilpon — urges, “it’s time for you to retire, because if you don’t, things can only go downhill from here.”

He’s 33 years old now, and even before he returned to Flushing this weekend as a shell of his former self, he was playing like a shell of the Wright who owned Citi Field. And that’s hardly fair for the Mets, who have so many reasons to move on but undoubtedly won’t if Wright wants to play again next season. He has four years and $77 million remaining on his deal. It’s hard to see the Mets not indulging the comeback of the player who once defined the franchise, of not penciling him in at third base out of obligation. It’s hard to see Fred Wilpon, who called Wright “one of the best ever,” and Terry Collins not giving Wright a chance to play through his issues.

Thing is, even before all this, Wright was having issues. This was a player in decline even before late May, when he was diagnosed with the herniated disc that led to June surgery. David Wright just wasn’t — and isn’t — the David Wright of old, isn’t the same player who carried the franchise and its fans through so many middling years. He hasn’t hit .300 since 2013, hasn’t bopped 20 homers since 2012 (when he hit 21).

And at his age, coming off major neck surgery, after years of hoisting the team on his shoulders (no wonder he has a bad back), does anyone actually think he can ever really be the player he once was?

It seems unlikely, sure, but who’d have wagered a (presumably) PED-free Alex Rodriguez would hit 33 HR’s last season at the age of 39 after missing the entire 2014 season on suspension and playing just 44 games the year prior? Presuming the Mets are committed to fielding the best lineup possible (and that’s certainly been the case for most of the last two years), why begrudge Wright the opportunity to mount a comeback? “Hardly fair to the Mets?” Who put a gun to the franchise’s head and forced them to commit $138 million to a guy who might well have won a couple of rings had he gone elsewhere at the time? You’d have to go back to the days of Dick Young to find the last time a NY columnist so blatantly carried water for ownership (and trust me, Ebenezer Samuel is not gonna be mentioned in the same breath very often).

More than once I’ve moaned long and loud about Wright’s on-field struggles and the way he’s been almost entirely immune from criticism, but suggesting he’s under some obligation to hand money and uniform back to the club is beyond nonsensical. Whether he’s owed $70 million or $70, David Wright has a right to ply his trade to the best of his abilities. If he’s no longer capable of helping the team win, that’s a shame, sure, but that’s one real-life result of the Mets rolling the dice on a long-term pact. And there’s something slightly screwy about Samuel’s timing, what with Jose Reyes on the brink of returning to the top of the Mets batting order. Like Wright, Reyes has been the definition of injury-prone. Like Wright, Reyes’ production and range have diminished. Unlike Reyes, Wright has yet to be accused of shoving a woman into a sliding glass door. Yet it’s David Wright who should save face by declaring his retirement (and leave a gargantuan sum of money on the table).

07.01.16

Boosie BadAzz : God Created Rapheal & Donatello, Not Adam & Steve

Posted in Hip Hop at 5:41 pm by

Boosie BadAzz is adamant that back when he was coming up, television was inundated with homosexuality. I guess somebody was denied the fantastic comedy stylings of Wayland Flowers & Madame!

06.30.16

Habs : A Craftsman Never Blames His Tools (And That’s Why We Dumped Subban)

Posted in Hockey at 8:56 pm by

On Thursday, Montreal dealt D P.K. Subban (above) to Nashville in exchange for Shea Weber, a transaction that one observer predicts will go down in Canadiens history as their most ill-advised move since Patrick Roy was exiled to Denver. Quoting TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, Sportsnet’s Luke Fox suggests one of the reasons Subban was deemed to surplus to requirements might be his making the team’s equipment manager look bad :

“There were a couple incidents on the ice where he blew a tire. It happened in Colorado,” Lavoie explained.

“I remember being between the benches in that game in Winnipeg. After P.K. blew a tire and the Jets scored a goal, during a TV timeout, I saw P.K. Subban on the ice and you had Pierre Gervais, who’s responsible for equipment with the Montreal Canadiens, had to go on the ice and tell P.K., ‘There’s no problem with your skate.’ It doesn’t seem like much, but it was kinda showing up the organization, like, ‘Hey, it’s not my fault. My skates are not done the right way.’ Obviously, it’s not a skate problem.”

06.29.16

Junior : A-Rod Nearly Came For Cash

Posted in Baseball at 3:23 pm by

(iPhone photoshoppery courtesy Tim Cook)

SI’s Ben Reiter invaded the palatial estate of soon-to-be-inducted Hall Of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. and quizzed the former Mariners/Reds outfielder about his subjects including but not limited to his post-baseball life and nearly convincing Alex Rodriguez (above, middle) to become a sperm donor. :

Griffey enlisted Seattle’s trainer, Rick Griffin, to convince the rookie Rodriguez that the club’s stars—including Jay Buhner and Randy Johnson—were involved in a scheme to sell their sperm to the highest bidder, as if they were thoroughbred stallions, and that Rodriguez might himself attract an appreciable stud fee. He brought in a fake doctor. “Dude, you got great genes,” Griffey told the rookie. The callow Rodriguez was skeptical at first. Then he started to come around. “How much money do you think we could make?” he asked. Griffey, mercifully, pulled the plug before donations were to be harvested. “Everybody has rookie hazing,” he says. “That was his.”

Griffey hasn’t spoken to Rodriguez, whose career went on to mirror Bonds’s more than his own, in several years. “Is he doing what he’s supposed to be doing for his kids, being a dad?” Griffey asks. “From what I hear, he’s doing that. That’s the only thing you care about. I also understand, from the guys, that he’s a much better teammate now than he was four or five years ago.”

06.28.16

Remembering Buddy Ryan & Bounty Bowl I

Posted in Gridiron at 10:27 pm by

Architect of the 1986 Bears’ famed 46 defense and former Eagles/Cardinals head coach Buddy Ryan passed away Tuesday at the age of 85. Though remembered by many for his tumultuous relationships with Mike Ditka and Kevin Gilbride, one of Ryan’s more sensational moments came in the Eagles’ Thanksgiving ’89 visit to Dallas, in which Rex and Rob’s dad was accused of placing a bounty on the head of Cowboys K Luis Zendajas. From the Dallas Morning News’ Rainer Sabin :

On the opening kickoff of the second half, Lined up near the sideline, Philadelphia rookie linebacker Jessie Small raced past three Cowboys and blasted Luis Zendejas, Dallas’ 175-pound kicker who had been cut by the Eagles that season. Struck in the helmet as he tried to duck, Zendejas staggered off the field.

Afterward, in his news conference, Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson claimed Ryan had placed a $200 bounty on Zendejas and a $500 bounty on Dallas QB Troy Aikman. Zendejas told reporters Eagles special teams coach Al Roberts and Philadelphia punter John Teltschik warned him before the game he would be targeted. Once the Eagles put the finishing touches on their victory, Johnson wanted to confront Ryan and discuss the matter.

“I would have, but he wouldn’t stay on the field long enough,” Johnson said that day. “He got his fat rear end into the dressing room.”

Zendejas told reporters he taped a conversation he had with Roberts, the Eagles assistant coach, discussing the bounty. Roberts, in response, threatened to sue Zendejas if he were to be fired because of any potential fallout.

“If I can’t keep a job in this league for the next 15 years, then Luis is going to pay me,” Roberts said. “Get my point? Luis is going to pay. I’m going to own a Mexican restaurant, and I’m going to name it The Bounty.”

06.27.16

Gudmundur Benediktsson : Icelandic For “The New Gus Johnson”

Posted in Euro 2016, Football at 11:13 pm by

Days after becoming a global sensation for, well, losing his shit over Iceland’s last-minute winner over Austria in Group F, broadcaster Gudmundur Benediktsson was fired as assistant manager of KR Reykjavík. On Monday, Benediktsson seized the opportunity for a screechy encore ; his reaction to Kolbeinn Sigthorsson’s 18th minute game-winner over an underachieving England side is shown below :

James Harrison : Keeping Typewriter Font Alive Well Into The Modern Era

Posted in Gridiron at 10:51 pm by

@NFL I look forward to speaking with you. Goodnight

A photo posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on

06.25.16

Going Crazy Deep With An Angle : Progress’ Jinny Couture Vs. Laura Di Matteo Feud

Posted in Professional Wrestling at 8:34 pm by

Progress Wrestling’s 5000 to 1 takes place tomorrow afternoon at Camden’s Electric Ballroom, and with all due respect to the advertised Marty Skrull vs. Tommy End collision, the main attraction is arguably a match between Jinny Couture and former personal assistant Elizabth aka Laura Di Matteo. Ever wonder what it would’ve been like had Virgil turned on Ted DiBiase? Me neither, but this contemporary dispute touches on timely issues including but not limited to class warfare, exploitation of new arrivals, and Progress’ interviewer ending up like Jim Rome after calling Jim Everett, “Chris”. OK, maybe that part isn’t so timely. Timeless, more like it.

06.24.16

HOF Scribe : Thor’s Hateable, But Not Nearly Pond Scum

Posted in Baseball, History's Not Happening at 6:15 pm by

Video via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Hey, I’m sure the Cards fans of that era harbored intense dislike for the Mets, what with our talismanic first-baseman having been served up on a silver platter by noted double agent, Whitey Herzog.

06.23.16

Maybe It Was Supposed To Read, “Vote ‘Leave The Capitol’ As Your Favorite Fall Song?

Posted in politics at 1:07 pm by

Photo courtesy Michael Duane