MLB Instant Replay : Is There Something Wrong About Trying To Get It Right?

Posted in Baseball at 3:28 pm by

“Some of those (old) arguments would go on for three, four, five minutes, and you were never going to get it changed…so what the hell were you doing it for?”  That’s Tony La Russa’s response to those who fear baseball’s new instant reply protocols will reduce the number of dirt-kicking, motherfucker-dropping manager vs. umpire spats following disputed calls.  While former ump Doug Harvey takes an opposing view (“I hate it…that’s part of the game. That’s getting the fans into it…now you’re taking it away and saying, ‘ok, we’ll check with the replay. That’s not baseball”), the San Jose Mercury News’ Daniel Brown consulted, well, a statistician.

Gil Imber, an expert on umpire-manager relations, predicts that overall ejections will be down in 2014, but only by about 25 to 35 percent. Imber is the owner and commissioner of the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League, which tracks and analyzes umpire behavior.

Imber reported that of the 180 total ejections last season, 83 were for arguing balls and strikes, 11 were for fighting, 14 were for pitchers intentionally throwing at a batter, eight for issues of interference and obstruction, three for disputing issued warnings, two from balks, one from an unacknowledged timeout request and eight for unclassified unsporting actions. “In other words,” Imber wrote, “72 percent of the ejections concerned issues, plays or calls that will not be reviewable under the expanded instant replay system.”

Managers, of course, view their half of the argument as an art, too. When Billy Martin went berserk, for example, players knew their manager was actually digging below the surface.

“The reason why he did it was the intimidation factor,” recalled Shooty Babitt, an infielder who played for Martin with the 1981 Oakland A’s. “These guys (like Martin and Earl Weaver) weren’t out there to get that specific play changed. It was more about hoping that the next play would get called in his favor.”


Marcus Vick Can’t Believe The Way Some People Hold A Grudge

Posted in Dogs, Gridiron, twitter twatter at 8:29 pm by

I don’t know what’s more disappointing, that Marcus Vick is surprised that living down the mass murder of man’s-best-friend isn’t so easily accomplished….or that he lacked the presence of mind to tweet, “ok, but at least he’s not Mark Sanchez.”



Posted in non-sporting journalism, Rock Und Roll at 9:19 pm by

(above : never should’ve gone electric)

If Consequence Of Sound really believes the Smashing Pumpkins or Weezer have done more damage to their respective legacies then the Rolling Stones or Glenn Danzig Rod Stewart, fair enough, they’re allowed to be wrong in public like anyone else.  But this is really the most undeserved, backhanded compliment of all-time — if you’ve sucked from start to finish, there’s absolutely no legacy to worry about. It’s akin to wondering out loud why Better Than Ezra never fulfilled their promise, or trying to determine where it all went wrong for EMF.


There’s Actually Something At The Barclays Center Less Popular Than The Boomer & Carton Kitchen

Posted in Basketball, New York, New York, Real Estate, Religion, The Marketplace at 11:23 pm by

(pic swiped from the Atlantic Yards Report)

While Forest City Ratner has yet to deliver affordable housing the immediate area surrounding Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, they did manage to build what is surely the only open-to-the-public meditation room in an NBA arena.  Though the New York Times’ Andrew Keh claims the room has few, if any visitors, he credits it’s existential existence to the Reverend Herbert Daugherty, “a Brooklyn pastor who has long been one of Atlantic Yards’ most ardent supporters.”

“Life is more than stone and steel and stuff,” said Mr. Daughtry, who heads the House of the Lord Pentecostal Church. “It’s about values, decency, fairness, trying to teach people that there’s more to life than materialism.”

Mr. Daughtry’s opponents argue that he has been co-opted by Forest City, and they point to the group he founded, the Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance, which was seeded with $50,000 from the developer. Mr. Daughtry’s family members oversee other programs that the developer funds to benefit the community. One of Mr. Daughtry’s daughters is in charge of distributing dozens of free tickets for each Nets game. Another daughter will run the arena’s community events program. His wife picked out the meditation room’s furnishings.

Mr. Daughtry said he was used to being criticized as “a sellout,” but he has taken a pragmatic approach. “Can you imagine all this is happening three or four blocks from my church, and all I had done was criticize from the side?” he said. “And my members and children are asking: ‘Can we get tickets? What happened? Why aren’t you involved?’ ”

A fan wearing a Nets shirt said he had seen a sign on the concourse for the meditation room but had never bothered to see what it was. The fan, who gave his name only as Sayani, said he did not think he ever would. 

“The only time I would have used it was the game we blew to Toronto, when Deron Williams made that stupid pass into the backcourt,” said the fan, a manager at a nearby P. C. Richard & Son store. “Then I would have needed to meditate.”

Mushnick : Our Commander In Chief Is A Yahoo

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts, politics at 10:55 pm by

Calling President Barack Obama’s now annual appearances on “SportsCenter” to fill out an NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket, “shallow, populist, pandering”, the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick (who also, we should stress sometimes criticizes public figures who are white, too) is saddened that top flight college hoops’ sleazy side, “doesn’t seem to bother (Obama) a bit.”

Our President is one of those sports fans — a yahoo — who doesn’t appear the least bit concerned Division I basketball and football now seem to have a better chance to temporarily house and feed young criminals than to produce educated young men prepared to move up and beyond.

Consider that nearly every NFL and NBA player arrested — and that stack grows weekly — has one other thing in common: They’re college men.

To think what a few, stern words from the President on this — something to indicate that he knows the score — might do. Instead, he picked Michigan State to win the tournament.

Ah, yes, the Spartans. The star guard on Michigan State’s 1986 team, senior Scott Skiles, at the NCAA Tournament’s conclusion, reentered jail to serve 30 days for a parole violation. Until then, he had remained eligible to play.

Skiles could have done his 30 days during the basketball season, but that was out of the question. He could have served his time at the conclusion of the academic semester. Forget that, too. When basketball ended, he chose jail. Student-athletic priorities.

And in 2014, even the President of the United States is in on it. Again.

Fascinating analysis from Phil, who might be the first columnist with the courage to point out that President Obama is the only elected leader to have ever taken an interest in college sports. And does this country deserve a President who has the common decency to predict an early exit for Michigan State based on something that happened 28 years ago?

MLB’s Licensing Division Has Accomplished The Near Impossible :

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 4:59 pm by

…they’ve made future visits to Guitar Center even shittier.


An Australian Primer On The Seedy, Soulless Game Of Baseball

Posted in Baseball, We Aren't The World at 10:37 pm by

While the Dodgers and Diamondbacks prepare to start the 2014 MLB Regular Season with a pair of games at this historic Sydney Cricket Ground,  News.com.au’s Andrew Sharwood threatens to blow the lid off “the sordidness, the drudgery, the sheer boredom,” of professional baseball. It’s a rather hollow promise given that Sharwood has yet to interview Jonathan Papelbon, but here are a few of his mind-blowing findings just the same (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory) :

Baseball players drink, partly because they don’t always need to be the most athletic specimens in the world of pro sports, but also to pass the time. These guys play up to 160 Games in a season in the Majors or 140 games at minor league level. That’s six games a week for six months. Each night, win or lose, their adrenalin is pumping. A beer or two or seven or eight helps.

All those games means a whole bunch of road trips. And road trips mean seedy hotels. At minor league level, a Holiday Inn is like the Hilton. More likely you’ll end up staying in some three star dump on a highway between Crapsville Illinois and Dumpsburg, Arkansas. Happily married and want your wife to accompany you on the road trip? Be prepared to dip into your own pocket for a double room.

Sportsmen, like many in the entertainment industry, tend to have higher divorce rates than the general population. This is especially true in baseball, where divorce rates are said to be as high as 60 per cent. Women don’t exactly throw themselves at minor leaguers either, contrary to what the movie Bull Durham might have told you. So if you are single and looking for action, you have to put in the legwork. Which brings us back to the point about booze.

If you’re like me, you might be wondering where the downside is. Sharwood warns aspiring alcoholics looking for cheap sex at the Red Roof Inn that when they get home from one of these miserable minor league road trips, they’ll most likely be staying in a shithole apartment featuring, “fake granite benchtops in the kitchen and an artful, black-and-white framed poster-sized photograph portraying a forlorn figure crossing a bridge with an umbrella blown inwards by the wind.” “Could life be any bleaker?” asks Sharwood, presumably unaware that at one time or another, young people actually competed for the chance to replace Michael Hutchence in INXS.

Hoops Universe (Save For LA) Salutes Dolan’s Latest Pricey Acquisition, Silently Prays That He Fucks Off For Good

Posted in Basketball at 8:24 pm by

Of Phil Jackson’s sudden ascendency to President of the New York Knicks, former (annual?) CSTB contributor David Roth writes, “If Jackson’s presence can remind the owner of what his role ought to be — signing checks, terrorizing underlings, buying bluesman hats online while terrorizing underlings — then Dolan’s impact on the team could be blessedly mitigated.”  That’s what passes for guarded optimism these days, though Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski cannot help but harp on the lamest vanity project this side of Dogstar while warning, “just stay out of Zen’s way, just get lost now.”

When New York Knicks executives chased free agents in the summer of 2010, owner James Dolan made himself a part of the presentations. He isn’t the most engaging, enchanting man, but Dolan does fancy himself a musician. So, yes, there were player and agent meetings four years ago when Dolan delivered a parting gift on the way out of the room.

“He passed out copies of his CD,” said a source, who stuffed his copy of one into a bag and no longer remembers where it’s gone.

It featured the melodies of JD and the Straight Shot, Dolan’s corner-bar band that bought itself into the opening act on tour with the Eagles. Dolan’s world revolves around the Eagles, and no one has helped meld his fantasy camp/groupie life of bad teams and super groups more gloriously than notorious ball-busting Eagles business manager Irving Azoff.Tuesday, here was Azoff, sitting with Glenn Frey at Madison Square Garden, taking bows, in the words of Dolan, for “brokering” and “negotiating” Jackson’s $60 million contract with the Knicks.

Someday, Dolan declared, the Knicks would be winning by 30 points and Jackson would let him go into the game. All those scared Garden employees laughed and laughed in the back of the room, and even Jackson cracked a polite smile. Real funny and all, but James Dolan has to understand that he’s out of the game for good, that this is Phil Jackson’s franchise now, his principles and values and vision in the grandest Garden experiment of all.

Gimp My Ride : W*A*S*P Guitarist Has A Used Car For Sale, Does Not Advise Driving Like A Beast

Posted in Automobiles, Rock Und Roll, The Marketplace at 2:13 pm by

Unless and until Blackie Lawless’ Segway hits the auction block, Chris Holmes’ 1987 Firebird might the ultimate item to complete your W*A*S*P-related methods-of-transportation memorabilia collection. Snap it up now, before some wealthy W*A*S*P fan drops it in the parking lot of the Experience Music Project.


Extra Large Mouths Embrace New Medium : Ordway & The (New) Whiner Line

Posted in Sports Radio at 4:20 pm by

While Dino Costa’s internet radio aspirations seem to rank somewhere between a con game and a pipe dream, another sports chat vet appears to have emerged from recent termination with a strong semblance of his old program firmly intact. Former WEEI fixture Glenn Ordway launched “The Big Show Unfiltered” online yesterday, a little more than a year after his departure from what used to be Boston’s most powerful sports talk outletBoston Sports Media’s Bruce Allen provides some highlights from Day One :

There were some things you didn’t hear on WEEI. Curse words, for one, though Ordway made sure to say that they weren’t going to force it on that issue. Pete Sheppard was the one getting in his curses, mainly directed at former WEEI GM Jeff Brown. They also went after Felger and Mazz by name, and an impression of Massarotti’s negative panic was in the offering.

Technically, things went pretty smooth for the first time out, they had some issues with callers, but for the most part, it was OK on that end. There seemed to be an issue with Steve Buckley’s microphone – he could barely be heard for much of the show, and as we all know, Buck likes to talk, so it was a bit of a struggle at times to hear.

They broke the news that the show will be aired on SiriusXM radio starting next week on channel 108.

They also had no issue making mention of Buckley’s sexual orientation, which was something of a change. The “Just for Men” hair coloring joke in the Whiner Line for one, and Buckley himself making lighthearted reference to “the gay guy.”

Seattle’s Logan Morrison : Fuzzy On Native American History, Neglects To Mention Those High-Earning Casinos

Posted in Baseball, Racism Corner, twitter twatter at 3:39 pm by

Marlins President David Samson once suggested Logan Morrison dial down the tweeting for his own good. So thanks, LoMo, for creating a situation where I actually find myself on the same side of an issue with David fucking Samson. I’m not sure which is worse, the casual indifference to the Native American Experience or that fact a highly paid adult uses “jelly” as shorthand for jealous.


Turner On The Mets’ Whispering Campaigns

Posted in Baseball at 10:50 pm by

Capital New York’s Howard Megdal takes a dim view of the New York Mets’ penchant for burying their own personnel, citing the sort of innuendo circulated about the likes of Carlos Beltran, R.A. Dickey, Ike Davis and most recently, Ruben Tejada.  Should Jordanny Valdespin feel dissed, or what?  Former Mets utlity guy Justin Turner, currently in Dodgers camp, tells Megdal, “nobody takes responsibility for what they say.”

“You’ve seen that with Tejada over the last few weeks,”  Turner told me as we chatted in front of his spring training locker. “ It’s all ‘a source said that they’re not happy with him.’ It’s like, you know what? If you’re gonna come out and gonna attack a guy’s character, and his work ethic, be man enough to put your name on it. Don’t say, ‘This is off the record’, and then off the record means they’re gonna write it anyway.”

It was puzzling when the Mets not only non-tendered Turner in December, but a “Mets official” leaked to Adam Rubin that the reason the Mets had gotten tired of Turner not running hard. It was the kind of story easily dismissed by anyone who’d watched the Mets play, and SNY’s Kevin Burkhardt, for one, took to Twitter to do just that

“All I can do is say if I was running an organization, in charge of it, I would look at all my players as assets, and want to build them up. So even if I didn’t want them to be on my team, they would have value. But for some reason, I don’t know, that’s not the thought process over there.

Mike Francesa’s Had Enough WIth GOTCHA Listeners

Posted in New York, New York, Sports Radio at 6:34 pm by

How better to mark the 60th anniversary of the hatching of New York’s Number One than by having him shadowed for a full day by Newsday’s Neil Best? Though it doesn’t seem like a great deal for Neil, here’s some excerpts from the longer conversation they couldn’t squeeze into the Sunday edition of the paper :

On his convoluted explanation for not recognizing the name of Tigers pitcher Al Alburquerque during the 2011 ALDS:

“What I don’t like is these guys play ‘gotcha.’ I’m on there six hours a day. I hear guys make mistakes on stuff like they don’t know the name of a head coach of a team or don’t know who is running a union or a commissioner. I have to know everything about everything on every team at all times.

“That is an obscure relief pitcher. But you know what? I didn’t handle that Alburquerque thing well. I didn’t. That is me getting mad at me. It’s my job to not make those mistakes. I make so few compared to other people and I’m on so much longer and cover so much more stuff than people, but I know I’m going to be and should be held to a higher standard. I’m supposed to be the standard. I understand that.

“I have the biggest show and get paid the most money. I expect that. But I expect it from myself more. I was more upset with me on that than anybody else. If I do something like that I’m mad at myself and say to myself, you know what, I didn’t work hard enough. I always work really hard.”

We’re This Much Closer To Unraveling The Mystery of #MH370

Posted in Air Traffic Controllers, twitter twatter at 2:48 pm by


Creative Excuses Dept, SXSW Wrap Up Edition

Posted in 12XU, Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 10:10 pm by

Unholy Two are the reason why if you need me to do anything for the next few days, you’ll need to write it down.

Red Sox Vow To Help, Not Punish Their Prodigal Pussy Hunter

Posted in Baseball, The Law at 1:11 pm by

“We spent the last couple days gathering information trying to find out what happened and what needs to be done,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said of catching prospect Jon Denny’s recent brush with the law. “At this point, we’re in the middle of putting together a program for Jon to address things that we feel he needs to address.” Presumably one of those things will including not telling officers of the law that’s he cruising for pussy. From The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo :

“We certainly take the incident seriously as we would with any other player. We’re trying to address his needs and help him in any way we can. But certainly he has some work to do.”

Denney, 19, was arrested early Thursday morning and charged with driving with a suspended license.

Denney was initially pulled over at 11:57 p.m. in the Fort Myers Beach area when his black Ford F-150 Raptor was observed accelerating quickly through a stop sign, causing the pickup truck to fishtail.

Denney produced a passport and an Arkansas license that was restricted for business and emergency purposes because of a previous DUI arrest. The Lee County police report indicated Denney started to “cuss at two officers.” Denney then said he was a Red Sox player and made more money than the officers would ever see.

Cafardo indicates that while Denney received a signing bonus of $875,000.00, his current salary is roughly $1000 a month during the season.


Boras To Mets : You’re Letting Your Fans Down (By Not Enriching Me)

Posted in Baseball at 1:54 pm by

Not for the first time, player agent Scott Boras has suggested clubs unwilling to lavish a long-term pact upon SS Stephen Drew are refusing to compete.  On Friday, Boras echoed prior remarks, claiming the failure to pursue Drew was indicative of a lack of “credibility”.  From Newsday’s Anthony Rieber :

“I think the earnestness of a franchise and their desire to win is always appraised by their conduct in pursuing the available talent,” Boras told Newsday when asked about the Mets and free-agent shortstop Drew in a telephone interview Friday.

They have known weaknesses. We’re talking about a shortstop that’s in the top eight in baseball, is fourth in OPS, drove in [67] runs last year and is one of the better defenders at his position. When these players are available and clubs that have weaknesses are not pursuing them, a question of the integrity of what the goals of the organization are come to mind.”

Asked whether he was speaking of the Mets, Boras said: “I’m not speaking about anyone specifically. I’m just speaking generally about the reason that these players are coveted, the reason that these players are so valuable, the reason they sign late, is teams get to look in spring training and the obvious weaknesses of clubs is revealed. The fans of the respective teams really get to look inside what can really help their team and the fact that this talent is available . . . without the detriment of losing a first-round pick. It’s rare that you have that opportunity.”

Guy Who Doesn’t Wanna Make It About Race & Hip Hop Tends To Make Things About Race (And/Or Hip Hop)

Posted in Austin, non-sporting journalism at 12:06 pm by

In the wake of  Wednesday’s fatalities & multiple injuries outside an X/Tyler The Creator show at Austin’s Mohawk, longtime Austin music press fixture Michael Corcoran considers the matter of the accused 21 year old driver, Rashad Owens, and declares, “this can’t be about hip hop and race”.  It’s an interesting angle given that while I’ve seen and heard all sorts of discussion about police protocol, crowd control, or the growth of SXSW and/or Austin, I’d yet to read any suggestion this was, y’know, about race and hip hop.  Granted, I’ve not read everything online (and I’m doing everything possible to avoid reading unmoderated comments on local newspaper websites).

It’s been widely reported that Owens is an aspiring M.C. who’d been booked to appear at Club 1808 Wednesday night, though Corcoran finds no evidence of such and doesn’t seem pleased that “big media” are repeating this as though it were fact.   “Neither the Facebook page nor the Twitter account of Owens or his “K.A.B. 254” rap du plume had any mention of shows at SXSW. A hip hop artist not hyping their shows on social media?!”  OK, I’m not sure where we’re going here.  Fair enough, charge Owens with murder, but is it really necessary to lambaste him for poor promotion, or perpetuate the stereotype that all rappers are social media pests?

“He’s loosely connected with the dirty south crew Strictly Mafioso,” writes Corcoran, “but there’s no evidence of him ever performing at more than a house party. He’s got a couple tracks on Soundcloud, but so does every high school ukulele player….It kinda makes me ill to see this ice-veined villain’s photo in the paper this morning with the headline ‘Suspect in crash a Killeen musician.’ He’s no more a musician than Troy Aikman is an actor.’”

If this tragedy is most assuredly NOT about hip hop, how is it relevant or even remotely helpful for Corcoran to argue an unknown schlub with tracks on Soundcloud is any more or less qualified to be an (unofficial) SXSW participant than any number of thousands of guitar-playing assholes?  Why is Owens less of a musician than Bob Schneider? I mean, I know this isn’t the time  to get into such considerations, but that’s precisely why it’s baffling Corcoran brought any of it up.  I’m totally down with the argument that what happened late Wednesday night wasn’t about race or hip hop, but why does any of this have to be about music criticism and what Michael Corcoran does or doesn’t consider to be actual music?

Keep in mind, the assertion to not make the case about race is coming from is the same fella who used the auspices of the local daily to liken a black journalist to Al Sharpton or Eddie Murphy, despite looking and sounding like neither.  This is the same scribe who derisively referred to a neighbor as “DJ Screw” for interrupting his Saturday afternoon television viewing (as opposed to, y’know, pioneering an art form).

I understand we all have our own way of processing grief, terror, anger, etc.   But for fuck’s sake, don’t use the deaths of innocent people as an excuse to take shots at genres or cultures you’ve previously demonstrated you’re inclined to dislike.


Though I’m Not A Religious Person….

Posted in Religion at 7:43 pm by


….I’ve got my price, to borrow a popular phrase.  And my price happens to be the Million Dollar Man’s autograph.

Renck On Kevin Towers’ Tough Guy Act

Posted in Basketball at 1:55 pm by

Kirk Gibson’s Diamondbacks are seemingly under the impression the fastest way to return to baseball relevance is to become the NL West’s Most Easily Offended Team.  Not content with bawling over the sanctity of their fucking swimming pool being invaded by the Yasiel Puigs of the world, Wednesday saw Snakes P Wade Miley drill Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki after Arizona’s Mark Trumbo was plunked earlier in the game.  Opined The Denver Post’s Troy Renck, “the idea of retaliation is unfathomable in a Cactus League game” — because if you’re gonna risk maiming an opponent, at least it should happen during a game that counts in the standings.

Arizona general manager Kevin Towers (above) said before spring training that he wants his pitchers to hit more batters this season. “I think come spring training, it will be duly noted that it’s going to be an eye for an eye and we’re going to protect one another,” Towers told MLB.com. “If not, if you have options, there’s ways to get you out of here, and if you don’t follow suit or you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you probably don’t belong in a Diamondbacks uniform.”

Frontier justice has a place in baseball. But it requires context. A cleats-up slide. Admiration of a home run like it’s a first born. Bad blood. None of these factors existed Wednesday.

Why would Hernandez, a guy with no chance of making the team, throw at Trumbo with a runner at first base? A big inning only accelerates his exit to the minors.

Trumbo wears it, then Tulo takes one. The Diamondbacks, because of their public stance on this issue, lose benefit of the doubt. Every time they hit a guy, opponents will believe there is intent.


Dan Warthen Apologizes (For The Second Time)

Posted in Baseball, Racism Corner at 8:12 am by

“I couldn’t remember the last time I heard the term ‘Chinaman,’” wrote the Wall Street Journal’s Stuart Woo on Monday, shortly after hearing Mets pitching coach Dan Warthern tell Jeff Cutler, Daisuke Matzusaka’s interpreter, “I’m sorry I called you a ‘Chinaman’ yesterday…I thought it was a pretty good joke, though.”  On Wednesday, Warthern and his employers said they were sorry (again).  From the New York Daily News’ Kristie Ackert :

In a statement released by the Mets, Warthen apologized for what he called “thoughtless and inappropriate” comments.

“I apologize for the thoughtless remarks that I made yesterday in the clubhouse. They were a poor attempt at humor but were wrong and inappropriate in any setting. I am very sorry,” Warthen said in the team statement.

Sandy Alderson also issued an apology via the release.

“On behalf of the entire organization, I apologize for the insensitive remarks made by of one of our staff members. The remarks were offensive and inappropriate and the organization is very sorry,” the Mets general manager said.


CSTB’s Greatest (?) Hits : Reverse Psychology Career Launching

Posted in History's Not Happening, Internal Affairs at 1:59 pm by

(Editor’s Note : what with my responsibilities to the Cumbucket Media Empire’s various parties /meet & greets happening around Austin’s Warehouse District this week, postings to CSTB will be somewhat sporadic — I know, what else is new?   But in the meantime, here’s a classic from 2005 that seems rather timeless in light of the garbage masquerading as art all over this fine — for 51 weeks a year — city. How was I to know it would eventually provide one-sheet fodder for one that generation’s most beloved (give or take 300 other artists) bands?  – GC)

from CSTB March 18, 2004, “The Perils Of SXSW”

Hard to choose which is more depressing from today’s series of events at the local trade fair-cum-music festival (or on the better days, a music festival with a smattering of trade fair-isms), that I missed the Futureheads whilst watching Oklahoma State beat Southeastern Louisiana (then again, I wasn’t invited to the party the Futureheads played at — apparently you need to actually be doing something or other in the entertainment business, and as you all know, I’m not exactly Doug Moody)….or what little live music I did end up witnessing.

I’m not gonna mention the band’s name, because I have no desire to publicly ridicule them or cast a shadow on their burgeoning career. I’m sure they are very nice, fun guys to hang around with. Strike that, I’m not sure of that at all. But assuming some of you have standards for human company as low as those for rock’n'roll, well, perhaps they are your friends.

None of which, however, excuses a noted music journalist nor a respected booking impresario singing the praises of a combo that sounds like nothing so much as latter period Soul Asylum fronted by Charles Nelson Reilly. To steal a line from Take It’s Michael Koenig, their stage presence would’ve crowded the rest room. Except they were playing in a tent, with no toilet.

And with that, I am officially no longer listening to any future reccomendations from well-meaning simpletons with double-digit musical IQ’s. When you finally figure out the difference between shit and shinola, tell someone else about it.

K-Rod Finally Found An Opponent Tougher Than His Father In Law

Posted in Baseball, Medical Science at 1:48 pm by

Reliever Francisco Rodriguez, whose brief New York Mets tenure was punctuated by brawling with a really old man, has apparently met his match in Brewers camp.


If You’re Kent Hrbek, There’s All Kinds Of Crying In Baseball

Posted in Baseball at 2:41 pm by

Former Twins 1B Kent Hrbeck (above, right) is making an appearance at this weekend’s Rock N Jock Expo in New Hope, MN, and while City Pages’ Danny Sigelman takes care to note they’ll be showing the Grant Hart documentary, “Every, Everything”, his music Q’s for Hrbeck are a little more general in nature :

Music plays a big part in baseball games, at least for the fans. Is there some music from when you were on the field you really remember as part of the game?

Everytime I hear “If I had the Time of my Life” from Dirty Dancing, they played that song in the video of the World Series. Whenever I hear that song, I start crying. I have a soft spot in my heart for that song. You can play it any place and I always get sentimental over it. I guess when they hear it most people think about Dirty Dancing, but I think of baseball.

Right on, Did you have a song for your walk-up music back then?

We didn’t have walk up music then. It wasn’t a thing. I’ll tell you, Harmon Killibrew is rolling over in his grave if these guys have to have walk-up music. He’d say, “You have to hit the ball no matter where you are. If you have to have your song to get fired up to hit, then how you going to hit the ball when we go on the road and you don’t have that song?”

You must have had some feelings about them tearing the Metrodome down?

I had tears watching them blow the thing up. That was a special place in my life. It’s where I spent my summer for 14 years. I played in the very first game there ever and saw the last Vikings game they played at the Dome. I know it was horrible to watch baseball there. But all my memories are in there. I really want to get a couple seats if I can.

Woj : Phil & The Knicks Are (Another) Disaster Waiting To Happen

Posted in Basketball at 12:30 pm by

Of Steve Mills’ (presumably successful) attempts to replace himself with Phil Jackson, Posting & Toasting’s Seth Rosenthal opines the Knicks, “will not be filling a job opening, they will be creating a job opening with which to subsume Phil Jackson, who does not necessarily fit the job opening created just for him.” Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski is even more convinced the pairing is doomed, warning, “the Knicks’ culture and values belong to James Dolan, and there are no executives – no forces of nature – that will change it.”

Far less accomplished people have been hired to run franchises, thus there’s no arguing Jackson isn’t worthy of an opportunity. Nevertheless, there are significant doubts about Jackson’s ability to translate his coaching genius to front-office organization and tenacity. Respected officials doubt his desire to spend the necessary time evaluating talent, constructing a staff beyond those indebted cronies forever at his NBA side. They wonder about his commitment to investing time into the small, mundane assignments that are necessary to turning a loser into a contender. How much time will Jackson even spend in New York?

The Knicks are low on draft picks and assets, long on bad contracts and bad knees. For even the most elite of front-office executives, this is a challenging job – never mind a 68-year-old who’ll find little of the adulation of championship-level coaching, and far more the criticism and second-guessing that comes with a rebuild.

Dolan believes Jackson’s star power can trump Pat Riley’s on the free-agent market, but make no mistake: Before a general manager can chase free-agents star, there needs to be an infrastructure of good, young and inexpensive talent born of savvy scouting and creativity deal-making. Jackson can’t snap his fingers and expedite talent to his roster.