02.25.15

Metroplex Scribe Can Barely Disguise His Glee Over Josh Hamilton’s Bad Week

Posted in Baseball at 8:55 pm by

The rollercoaster ride of Angels OF Josh Hamilton took a rather precipitous drop with Ken Rosenthal’s revelation the celebrated reprobate is facing a likely MLB suspension for something “worse” than PED’s. Though this might be an opportune time to send one’s thoughts to the Hamilton family, the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant — awfully familiar with Hamilton’s tenure in Arlington — chose a somewhat different tact, instead reassuring Rangers fans they’re better off without the guy.

By the looks of everything, the Angels weren’t counting on much from Hamilton this year, anyway. He waited all winter to have shoulder surgery, then underwent a procedure in early February that will likely keep him out until May. He wasn’t even in spring training and doesn’t currently have a locker in the Angels’ clubhouse, but has rather been rehabbing at a friend’s ranch outside of Houston. The Angels, according to the Times, agreed to the odd arrangement, which might be a clue the club feels its less of a distraction to have Hamilton gone.

Now, you can go ahead and laugh.

In the first two-years of a back-loaded, five-year, $125 million deal, Hamilton managed a .255 average, .316 OBP and .741 OPS with 31 homers. By comparison, Mitch Moreland of the Rangers has a .235 average, .299 OBP and .712 OPS with 25 homers in 300 fewer plate appearances for about one-tenth of Hamilton’s salary. He alienated management over those two seasons and that was before the shoulder issue.

And we haven’t even mentioned the decision by Hamilton’s wife, Katie, to join the cast of “Real Housewives of Orange County.”

It all adds up to a very awkward situation for the Angels that would produce only one potential positive outcome for the club: the removal of Josh Hamilton from the picture.

02.24.15

If You Happen To Find Yourself In The Alleged Live Music Capital Of The World This Mid-March (2015 Edition, Addendum)

Posted in 12XU, Austin, Internal Affairs at 11:03 pm by



The entertainment arm of Cumbucket Media
has yet another free event scheduled for The Happiest Place On Earth aka Beerland Texas. And we can promise that no fewer than 8 of the 9 bands advertised will actually be performing.

Racist Signs & Ignorant Minds : WFAA’s Dale Hansen On Defending The Indefensible

Posted in Racism Corner, Sports TV at 9:06 am by

Sportscaster Dale Hansen is no stranger to delivering editorials that run counter to some folks’ expectations of what you’d hear from (in his words), “a big, fat old guy from Dallas, Texas”. That said, in chiming Monday night on the recent display of signs reading “White” & “Power” during a Flower Mound vs. Plano East high school basketball contest, Hansen spoke frankly about the danger of turning a blind eye to such stupidity, but not without detailing his own racial ignorance and how his perspective has changed.

It’s the sort of thing you’re not gonna see on many TV news programs, let alone in the time allotted for sports. Compare and contrast Hansen’s editorial with the work of the Cleveland Fox morning host who insists she was unfamiliar with the slur, “jigaboo” (after using it on live TV) ; the former will likely not see his clip circulated nearly as much this week, and that’s a shame.

02.23.15

Lucchino : Fuck It, We’re Done With Pawtucket

Posted in Baseball, Ugly New Stadiums at 9:55 pm by

Pawtucket, RI’s McCoy Stadium has hosted minor league baseball for nearly 70 years, most prominently in the form of Boston’s International League affiliate. Site of a 33 inning Pawtucket/Rochester game that took more than two months to complete in 1981, McCoy is now in jeopardy of losing the Red Sox to neighboring Providence, a switch Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien claims was a fait accompli, thanks in part to one of the PawSox’s new owners, Larry Lucchino. From the Providence Journal’s John Hill (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory) :

“I can’t tell you half of what they said, because when they said, ‘It’s not going to be Pawtucket,’ that just took the air out of the room,” Grebien said.

They mayor declined to discuss any of the specifics of the new ownership’s plans, or even who they were, saying that was up to them to reveal.

The PawSox signed a new lease just about a year ago that was supposed to keep the team in McCoy through 2021, with a five-year extension after that. But that lease is with the state, not the city, Grebien said, so Pawtucket appears to have few legal options if it wanted to fight to keep the team in the city.

Greiben said the new owners talked about wanting a location with transportation access, to be in an urban setting and be a place were they could create destination type facility.

02.22.15

Much As It Pained Tim Miles To Throw His Cornhuskers Under The Bus…

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts at 7:41 pm by

…he went ahead and did it anyway!

02.21.15

ABC Deems Cavs vs. Knicks Surplus To Requirements

Posted in Basketball, Sports TV at 9:46 pm by

Not even the star power of LeBron James, let alone the outside chance James Dolan might write another insulting email to an elderly fan, was enough to keep Sunday’s Cavs/Knicks matinee at MSG on ABC’s programming schedule. The New York Post’s Marc Berman reports the game was pulled in favor of some sort of Oscar coverage, “the first time in the network’s 13 years of telecasting Sunday games it has obliterated a basketball window without replacing it with another game, according to industry sources.”

All of the Knicks’ final five games scheduled for national TV quietly have been pulled — vs. the Cavaliers; at the Lakers (March 12, TNT), which had been announced; at the Suns (March 15, TNT); vs. the Clippers (March 25 , ESPN); and vs. the Nets (April 1, NBATV).

The Knicks (10-44) had 23 national games on their schedule entering the season and 13 were yanked, including the last 10 appearances.

In one of the bigger embarrassments of the season, the Lakers-Knicks game on Super Bowl Sunday was pulled off ESPN for celebrity bowling.

Even worse, one of the celebrities was Mark Linn-Baker!

While There’s Nothing Dignified About Putting A Youth Hockey Ref In A Headlock…

Posted in Hockey, Leave No Child Unbeaten at 7:43 pm by

…at least the assailant had the good taste not to employ the Crippler Crossface.

02.20.15

Waldman : There’s Goodness, Graciousness In A-Rod

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 9:51 pm by

On Friday, Yankee manager Joe Girardi suggested that despite an onerous contract and prior achievements (albeit chemically-assisted) that dwarf those of all other active players, Alex Rodriguez — he of the multiple apologies earlier was week — was no sure thing for the Bombers’ Opening Day lineup.  And he might be as washed up as he’s ethically challenged, YES Network analyst Suzyn Waldman insists she finds Rodriguez,  “impossible to dislike.”  From the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman :

 “I’m not defending him. I think what he did was stupid more than anything else,” Waldman said.  “I know he’s lied. He’s made every wrong decision. He says things and does things and you just want to say ‘Why?’ I also know you can’t go wrong for dumping on Alex. This is what it’s become. What’s he supposed to do?”

In the next breath, Waldman answered her own question. There’s nothing left for him to do, she said, but play baseball. She tisked-tisked all the talk of distraction, reminding the free world A-Rod is a walking one.

“The way this offense is (coming into spring training) they better hope he still can play,” she said. “Look, it’s not my job to psychoanalyze Alex. What I do, and sometimes don’t, understand is the anger directed at him. This just didn’t start with the steroids. His persona, for many people, has never been likeable.”

If Waldman sounds confused, keep in mind, she considers the likelihood of an A-Rod media circus in Tampa to be a positive (“they (the players) are probably going to like the distraction. Everyone will be in Alex’s corner of the clubhouse and not asking some pitcher why his elbow blew out.”)

02.19.15

History’s Most Questionable eBay Auctions, Pt XXVI

Posted in Austin, The Marketplace at 9:25 am by

(link courtesy Thomas Micklethwait of the spectacular Micklethwait Craft Meats).

Steve Earle Autographed Dollar bill “VERY RARE” Wont find anywhere (north austin)

Went to Steve’s Album release party and had the opportunity to talk with him and go eat at 24 hr downtown. He signed a dollar i had and said hes only ever remembered signing one other one before. I’m in a financial bind and willing to sale it for a decent price. can prove signing have pictures. call or text leaving Austin to go back home at 13:00 on a plane

serious cash offers only…also have his coffee mug ..would be willing to sell both for a decent price

Joshua

02.18.15

Are You Ready For “My Giant” Meets “Perfect Strangers” Meets “Eddie”?

Posted in Basketball, The World Of Entertainment at 9:14 pm by

The Hollywood Reporter’s Lesley Goldberg gushes that ABC is preparing “a buddy comedy set in the world of the NBA and centering on a rookie who doesn’t speak English and a translator who doesn’t speak basketball.” Hopefully, this upcoming series, featuring “Pitch Perfect” star Skyler Astin, will dispel many of the negative stereotypes..about translators. Or failing that, the band Translator, whom I always disliked but might actually be OK people for all I know.


Astin — who was fielding multiple pilot offers this season — will star as Jason, a sweet and slightly wimpy guy who was previously with the Peace Corps. A bit of a loser with no athletic prowess whatsoever,? Jason works as a teaching assistant and, while living in his ?parents’ basement, is tapped by the GM of an NBA team to be the translator for Mo, a new recruit from Botswana. A munchkin among giants in the world of professional basketball, Jason soon discovers that he’s being paid to be a lot more than just a translator. He also has to be the new player’s 24/7 guide/best friend/mentor and protector — and find a way to light a fire under this incredibly tall and talented athlete who seems to lack any drive.

02.16.15

Chuck Knoblauch Just Tweeted Himself Out Of Future Old-Timer’s Day Invitations

Posted in Baseball at 9:44 pm by

I’m not gonna be the 30,000th person today to suggest that maybe former Yankees 2B Chuck Knoblauch is not the kind of high-character person to be throwing stones (especially as he might not be able to get them over to the first baseman properly). But it does seem like this very public diss of Andy Pettitte is an awful lot of effort to return Knoblauch to the top of Non-Metallica K.O.’s shit list.

02.15.15

D-III Rockhurst : Illustrating The Various Ways Alex Gordon Would’ve Been Dead Meat

Posted in Baseball at 3:56 pm by

Video link courtesy the KC Star and Baseball Think Factory. Since Rockhurst doesn’t have a football program, we’re spared their take on what would’ve happened if Pete Carroll gave the ball to Marshawn Lynch on second-and-goal.

02.14.15

Marking The 10th Anniversary Of The Greatest Display Of Futility In Dunk Contest History

Posted in Basketball at 10:31 pm by

While Zach LaVine has earned accolades for tonight’s Dunk Contest victory in Brooklyn, let’s consider the first-round effort of Chris “Birdman” Andersen in 2005.

If You’re Still Puzzled By The Mets Standing Pat, Howard Megdal Would Like To Spell It Out For You

Posted in Baseball at 1:05 pm by

(image taken from Kaplan’s Korner)

I think deserve some credit for not recycling “What Part Of ‘They’re Broke’ Don’t You Understand?” for the 800th time, but full credit to the far more sophisticated Howard Megdal of Capital New York (above). Upon learning another round of distributions of recovered funds for victims of Bernie Madoff had been made available by a trustee, Megdal warns, “here are the numbers you have to actually remember, and what keeps Fred Wilpon and his partners up nights (and Wilmer Flores entrenched as a low-cost shortstop)” :

The Mets’ parent company, Sterling Equities, continues to finance the $250 million in debt against the team. Sterling also continues to finance more than $600 million in debt against SNY. Below is a partial schedule of what comes out of team revenues directly in twice-annual debt balloon payments for the next eight years.

June 2016 – December 2018: $21,950,000
June 2019 – December 2022: $22,000,000

The schedule continues like that through 2045.

It all means that the Mets are spending more on financing debt than they are on payroll.

So sure, it’s nice every time the Madoff trustee announces another victory, primarily because it helps people actually victimized by Bernie Madoff. But Mets ownership has far bigger numbers to worry about.

Which is also why you can safely dismiss the qualified comments by new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Wilpon finances. Notice that he insulates himself by claiming no knowledge of their ability to spend just before endorsing it.

02.13.15

Michael Kay Rescinds His Offer To Take A Pay Cut

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 6:30 pm by

On Thursday, ESPN’s Mets beat reporter Adam Rubin quoted ESPN NY host/YES radio play-by-play announcer Michael as claiming he’d sooner call Bombers games for “$1″ than accept a million to work for their crosstown rivals.

After suffering some social media abuse from Mets fans (and/or Mike Francesca acolytes), Kay insists he’s been quoted out of context and fed to the trolls. That’s unfortunate, because there’s one CSTB contributor who’s been in meetings all afternoon with legal counsel to determine if there’s anything legally binding about this $1 business.

02.12.15

When Rex Ryan Promised To “Build A Bully” In Buffalo, He Wasn’t Kidding

Posted in Gridiron at 10:59 pm by

Of the recent acquisition of disgraced OL Richie Incognito, a Buffalo Bills spokesperson promises, “we feel that he has taken the necessary steps to improve as a person and a teammate.” Speaking with the Buffalo News’ Tim Graham, Amanda Nickerson, director of the University at Buffalo’s Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention replies, “It feels like a slap in the face.”

“It’s a juxtaposition,” Nickerson said, “to have this center and knowing that most of the national attention Buffalo is getting right now is negative in regards to bullying.”

“Can people be redeemed? Should we give second chances?” Nickerson asked. “Absolutely, if we’re talking about a kid or a first offense.

“I’m concerned about it. If it was just Incognito’s issues from 2013, that would be one thing. But there’s been a history of aggressive and violent and demeaning behavior that is hard to ignore.”

Nickerson, who has a Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of South Carolina, noted it would be unfortunate if Incognito declined to participate in the Bills’ anti-bullying campaigns while here.

“If he’s not involved, then it would sound like people are covering for him,” Nickerson said.

“People should hear from him, and not just an empty message. What specifically has he learned from his past? What he done to take steps to change it? If he had treatment or intervention, how did it make him reflect on his behavior?”

February Is Black History Month, Not Yell Racial Epithets At A Security Guard Working A Kenny Chesney Concert Month

Posted in Gridiron, Racism Corner at 7:43 pm by

OK, that was the clumsiest headline in recent memory, but not nearly as clumsy as Eagles WR Riley Cooper being the pinup of choice for the month of February on Philly’s official team calendar.  While the Eagles have apologized and issued the statement below, The 700 Level asks, “there weren’t 12 players more deserving than Cooper?”  Well, it’s not as if Michael Richards or Jesse Helms are on the active roster.

“We do not oversee the production of the annual team calendar. We do not provide any input about the players who are featured or where those pictures appear in the calendar. The NFL licenses the production of that calendar to a third party and we do not have an opportunity to review the material.”

02.10.15

It Took A Little Work, But We Might’ve Found Franchise Owners More Despised Than James Dolan

Posted in Football at 10:27 pm by

Though James Dolan’s receiving considerable grief for calling an elderly Knicks fan a drunk, keep in mind, Blackpool chairman Karl Osyston recently took to Twitter to call one fan “a massive retard” and announce the latter was banned from attending future matches. On Monday, The Mirror’s Aaron Flanagan reported that Oyston and brother Owen (above, right) are suing an online fan forum over “derogatory comments”.

The Back Henry Street website stated, “to clear up any rumours, on Thursday 5 February 2015, Back Henry Street was served papers from the court, relating to the Oystons’ and Blackpool Football Club’s intent to seek damages for six allegedly defamatory comments made on the site in 2014, limited collectively at £150,000.

“For obvious reasons, we can not go into any more detail at this time. Thank you for your continued support.”

Silver : Dolan’s Guilty Of Caring Too Much

Posted in Basketball at 1:31 pm by

Of Knicks owner James Dolan’s recent ill-advised decision to call an aggrieved fan an alcoholic and invite said supporter to “root for the Nets”, Carmelo Anthony said, “we all have those moments” (and for Melo, such moments include calling a Twitter critic, “glazed donut face”). Sadly, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was every bit as sympathetic to the Cablevision CEO, telling the New York Daily News’ Frank Isola there’s no precedent for censuring an owner for being an asshole.

“Players, league executives and owners historically have not been disciplined for similar outbursts,” Silver told the Daily News on Tuesday. “As I said, he reacted in an emotional, impassionate way to a direct criticism of him. That’s not the kind of behavior that traditionally commissioners have become involved in.”

Earlier Monday, Silver called Dolan’s reaction an example of the controversial Knicks and Rangers owner being a “consummate New Yorker.”

02.09.15

MLB’s Lower Manhattan Monument To Douchebaggery Shuttered

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York, The Marketplace at 9:37 pm by

Our long national nightmare is finally over ; after 4 years of strained pseudo stand-up and season-long attempts to glue “Survivor” to “SportsCenter” within the confines of the old Tower Records building on 4th and Broadway, Major League Baseball has mercifully pulled the plug the House Of Stupid otherwise known as the MLB Fan Cave. Sports Business Daily’s Eric Fisher provides the autopsy :

The move, led by Bob Bowman, president of business and media, is an attempt to consolidate all of baseball’s social media activities under MLB Advanced Media and the MLB Network. MLBAM had its own active social media agenda separate from the Fan Cave, often creating confusion on matters such as who would take a lead role in promoting coming MLB events.

We’re trying to be more coordinated in all of our social media efforts,” Bowman said. “This change in structure is helping all of us focus on the same goals, and by putting all of the social media together, we hope to have a more consistent and effective message.”

Several Fan Cave components are likely to live on, including its concert series featuring up-and-coming acts and the creation of viral content with players outside the ballpark. But the original Fan Cave premise of having a group of selected fans watch every game of a season will cease.

Bowman said the decision to shift away from the Fan Cave does not represent a repudiation of the idea (“it would be a shame if that’s the conclusion people come to,” Bowman said).

Sorry, Bob. You’re not gonna spoil this moment for me. I’m gonna conclude we’re living in Repudiation City and you’re the goddamn Mayor.

Paging Vincent Gallo : A Pricey Souvenir Of Bills Futility Is Up For Grabs

Posted in Gridiron, The Marketplace at 5:47 pm by



SCP Auctions
with great optimism calls Scott Norwood’s 1990 AFC Championship ring, “Bills Bling”. And in lieu of a non-existent Bills Super Bowl ring (or conversely, OJ Simpson’s skull), it’s probably the ultimate Buffalo artifact.

02.08.15

Think Like A Beast Update : The Chris Holmes Career Revival Is In Full Steam

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 10:48 pm by

When we last heard from W*A*S*P* guitarist / “Decline Of Western Civilization, Pt. II” star Chris Holmes, he was bemoaning the way “gangster rap” and baggy trousers had relegated his chosen profession to the level of “pussy music”.  Perhaps after getting a pep talk (from I dunno, Joey Welz?) Holmes has given up his attempts to become the Simon Frith of the 2010′s, instead debuting the solo video below (link courtesy Metal Injection) :

At Dolan’s MSG, The Customer Is Always Wrong

Posted in Basketball at 4:56 pm by

The following exchange between Cablevision CEO James Dolan and New York Knicks fan Irving Bierman was published earlier today by Deadspin :

Subject: I have been a knicks fan since 1952

At one stage I thought that you did a wonderful thing when you acquired EVERYTHING from your dad. However, since then it has been ALL DOWN HILL. Your working with Isaiah Thomas & everything else regarding the Knicks. Bringing on Phil Jackson was a positive beginning, but lowballing Steve Kerr was a DISGRACE to the knicks. The bottom line is that you merely continued to interfere with the franchise.

As a knicks fan for in excess of 60 years, I am utterly embarrassed by your dealings with the Knicks. Sell them so their fans can at least look forward to growing them in a positive direction Obviously, money IS NOT THE ONLY THING. You have done a lot of utterly STUPID business things with the franchise. Please NO MORE.

Respectfully,

Irving Bierman,

On Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 8:15 PM, James Dolanwrote:

Mr Bierman

You are a sad person. Why would anybody write such a hateful letter. I am.just guessing but ill bet your life is a mess and you are a hateful mess. What have you done that anyone would consider positive or nice. I am betting nothing. In fact ill bet you are negative force in everyone who comes in contact with you. You most likely have made your family miserable. Alcoholic maybe. I just celebrated my 21 year anniversary of sobriety. You should try it. Maybe it will help you become a person that folks would like to have around. In the mean while start rooting.for the Nets because the Knicks dont want you.

Respectfully

James Dolan

Speaking with ESPN, Bierman, though insisting he has no plans to switch to the Nets, says Dolan’s reponse “confirmed some of the worst things that fans think of him.” But the important thing is we all have Dolan’s email address, and given the high percentage of thoroughly unpleasant, friendless persons who read (or edit) this blog who may or may not have drinking problems, there is no better time to let this lumpen, charmless, tuneless, mega-entitled shitbag know that he’s merely a caretaker. The New York Knicks have existed for nearly 70 years and no tycoon with Blues Hammer aspirations has the right to tell anyone who to root for. He’s not Red Holtzman, Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Bernard King, Patrick Ewing, Anthony Mason or Charles Oakley. Heck, when it comes to being committed to the Knicks, he’s not even Matthew Modine’s crazy wife. Though it would probably be a (slight) exaggeration to say Dolan’s as big a P.R. disaster for the NBA as Donald Sterling, he’s pretty much told the entire fanbase to go fuck themselves.  Given that Adam Silver’s established a precedent for making being loathsome an actionable offense, how about a little help here, Commish?

02.07.15

Out With The Ralph Lauren Shirts : Robert Kraft’s Fashion Intervention, In Progress

Posted in Gridiron, Hip Hop at 5:54 pm by

Nas is all like, “who invited Jerry Lewis to the party and why are we talking him shopping?”

02.06.15

The Special One Is Here So He Won’t Get Fined (SORRY)

Posted in Football at 9:05 pm by

Every now and then, a handful of collected quotes from a Friday press conference fails to truly convey the tone of the discussion.