When asked what his “personal claim to fame” was, he replied, “Got local government in Miami to contribute over 350 million dollars to a new baseball park during the recession.”
It’s like not only does he know he’s a total asshole, but he’s proud of it.
To put that in perspective, the man was president of team when they won the 2003 World Series. And yet, he’s more proud of the fact that he screwed over taxpayers than he is leading a team to the summit.
Samson also says that one of his strengths is “leading without actually being a leader.”
‘Tis one thing to question Grantland editor Bill Simmons’ handling of Caleb Hannen’s much-pilloried“Dr. V’s Magical Putter” ; Simmons himself has apologized, and while I found said apology a little too self-serving for comfort, it would be the stretch of the century to claim the incident proves Simmons is unfit to preside over the website. But that’s exactly the sort of reach attempted by former ESPN fixture-turned-inconsequential troll Jay Mariotti (above), who likens Simmons’ rise to mainstream stardom to something’s that’s “ruined the sports media industry in too many ways to count”.
Why is a career fanboy making critical decisions about a difficult story involving suicide and a transgender person? Why was Bill Simmons in this position to begin with? Shouldn’t he have been back in Boston, wearing a Celtics throwback jersey and screaming from the cheap seats that Doc Rivers quit on the team?
Simmons doesn’t write well, doesn’t do TV well and really doesn’t do much of anything but schmooze the right people. At ESPN, any guy off the street — myself included, I suppose — could do a few shows and become a star, based simply on the network’s massive clout and reach. But at some point, there has to be a redeeming value to a personality. And don’t tell me about page views, unique visitors and Twitter followers — the biggest ongoing scam in the web media is how people buy and fabricate numbers, in some cases by the hundreds of thousands. Ignore numbers.
Bill Simmons, BS for short, is the product of a network so big that it can make media sensations out of hubcaps. Now that he has become a liability to that network, expect him any day back in the Garden with his Celtics jersey.
Because I am a reasonable person, I think there’s at least a one percent chance Mariotti’s editorial was motivated by something other than professional jealousy. Prior to Mariotti burning bridges in Chicago and getting bounced from television after a domestic violence incident, he had ample access to ESPN resources yet somehow found mass popularity elusive. He also found likeability somewhat elusive.
And yes, let’s ignore page views, visitors and Twitter followers. Because Jay has none to speak of.
Really, the nicest thing you can say about Mariotti’s myriad attempts at reinvention since leaving ESPN is that is he’s not nearly as delusional as Dino Costa. But given his brief tenure at the since shuttered AOL Fanhouse, it’s the height of hypocrisy to read his moaning about, “web entrepreneurs with no conscience about accountability”.
No one who’s read CSTB since inception will confuse me with a Bill Simmons apologist. But to compare Grantland to those who trade in “stalking famous athletes and media people and publishing blatant lies, blind items, dick and vagina photos”, is to essentially admit you have to fucking idea what you’re talking about. Again.
In 2010, I found out that ESPN would be airing a segment about me, including private information about my past. After hearing about the segment, I wrote to the reporter. “It has just been brought to my attention that ESPN…will be using old pictures and videos of me from when I was younger. I am not okay with this. Reason being, we live in a world that does not understand what it means to be transgender,” I wrote. “Every time I see a transgender person in the media, their stories are always centered around their appearance/physical transition. Being transgender is more than a physical appearance. Being transgender is being all of who I am, and that includes keeping certain things from my life private. Please remove the personal information before it airs.”
Like Dr. V, my request was denied. There was nothing I could do. During the week the segment aired, I thought working my campus job would be a great way to get my mind off of the nightmare and escape my escalating feelings of depression. Wrong. I was constantly reminded by everyone that personal pieces of me were out on display for anyone to see. Every time someone said “congratulations,” or “I loved your story,” it moved me that much closer to the edge. Until one day I was there.
It was towards the end of that week. I still hadn’t seen my ESPN piece, and I wasn’t planning on watching it, until I did. I was flipping through the channels when I saw my face. I stopped and watched. Within the first ten seconds they shared my old name. My heart sank. Following that were old videos and photos, but worse still was the panel of “Kye” experts discussing my life as a transgender athlete, and how it’s impacting women’s basketball. I wanted to end my life, and I would have had it not been for the support of my girlfriend and close friends at the time. They saved me.
That Leigh Steinberg was at various times right smack in the middle of deals that altered the shape of the NFL is not the biggest stretch in the world ; after all, Steinberg — allegedly the inspiration for Cameron Crowe’s “Jerry Maguire” —- was once synonymous with uber-agent the way Scott Boras or Drew Rosenhaus came to be in later years. But prior to the publication of Steinberg’s tell-all, “The Agent”, it’s never been suggested that he personally encouraged bust-of-the-century Ryan Leaf (above)to torpedo his own draft stock with the team sitting on the #1 pick. The following excerpts are culled from USA Today :
I told Ryan it would do no good to approach Colts GM Jim Irsay. Irsay saw the sport the same way he viewed his other passion, rock ’n’ roll. Just as musicians tended to be a bit eccentric, so did football players, and that did not stop him from drafting Jeff George or trading for Eric Dickerson. “Leigh,” he used to say, “it’s about the freaking talent.” If someone is that gifted, in Irsay’s opinion, you simply find a way to deal with his personality.
“If you go to the combine,” I told Ryan, “but fail to show up for a meeting with (Indianapolis head coach Jim) Mora, that should do it. Jim is a real prideful person who has a tendency to explode. I am not recommending you do this, but if you are desperate to go to San Diego, this is the way.”
Ryan approved, but I first cleared the idea with Chargers general manager Bobby Beathard, lest San Diego also question my client’s reliability. Beathard went along with the ruse. If he’d had a problem, Ryan would’ve shown up for his meeting with Mora.
Once Ryan was a no-show, Mora, as anticipated, went ballistic. I defended my player, naturally, dismissing the coach’s response as another Mora meltdown. As I’d anticipated, Ryan was criticized, but the plan achieved its purpose. The Colts took Peyton Manning. Something tells me the folks in Indianapolis have never regretted that decision.
After the rookie’s 25-point, seven-assist game against the Lakers, Mix (we call him Mix) tweeted, “Hey @BillWalton does @KellyOlynyk remind you of anybody? Long hair, smart player, fundamentally sound. .?.?. I’m just saying.”
“It’s pretty cool,” Olynyk said yesterday. “I mean, you don’t realize all the people that are noticing you. It’s kind of interesting — especially from a guy like him where you’ve heard a lot of his music. It’s pretty cool.”
“Peter Gammons actually has an impressive resume,” says The Canadian Press’ John Chidley-Hill, reminding his readers the former Boston Globe/ESPN baseball analyst is, y’know, a Hall Of Famer and then some. For those primarily concerned with hockey, however, Gammons (above, middle) is presently best known as the elderly gent who in the wake of Saturday’s Canucks/Flames megabrawl, tweeted ”Calgary and Vancouver reiterated why the NHL is a minor sport.” Participants and those who cover said minor sport didn’t take kindly to views of the continent’s last remaining Letters To Cleo fan, as Chidley-Hill details :
“(at)pgammo says the guy who makes his living off the dirtiest sport in the world other then maybe cycling,” said professional hockey player Mike Commodore, a native of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., who currently plays in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League. The 11-year veteran of the NHL added the hashtag .beatitpeter to his tweet.
Less than 30 minutes later, Commodore tweeted at Gammons a second time, again referring to MLB’s struggles to prevent the use of performance-enhancing drugs: “(at)pgammo , help us out with your infinite wisdom scoops, would a good solid 25 year HGH/doping era turn hockey into a “major” sport?”
Erik Johnson, a defenceman for the Colorado Avalanche, replied to Gammons with a picture of the sold-out Michigan Stadium, filled with over 100,000 fans to watch the Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 1.
The caption “No one cares about hockey” was superimposed over the image.
Larry Brooks, a New York Post sportswriter renowned for his arguments with Tortorella when the coach was with the Rangers, also criticized Gammons.
“Dont know about that. No one called baseball a minor sport when Carlos Quentin charged mound and broke Zach Greinke’s collarbone,” said Brooks.
In short, there were no shortage of hysterical responses to Sherman’s hysterical response. After the dust has cleared, Forbes’ Tommy Tomlinson resisted the urge to quip, “Bart Scott thinks Richard Sherman oughta dial it down”, instead suggesting, “if you stick a microphone in a football player’s face seconds after he made a huge play to send his team to the Super Bowl, you shouldn’t be surprised if he’s a little amped up.”
Ninety-nine percent of on-field interviews are boring and useless. The TV networks do them anyway for the 1 percent of the time they get a moment like Richard Sherman.
As a reporter and writer, that raw emotion — whatever form it takes — is exactly what I hope for. That’s why media people fight for access to locker rooms. After players and coaches cool off, most of them turn into Crash Davis, reading from the book of cliches.
But we — the media, and fans in general — don’t know what we want. We rip athletes for giving us boring quotes. But if they say what they actually feel, we rip them for spouting off or showing a lack of class.
It’s like we want them to be thinking, Well, that was a fine contest, and jolly good that we won. Which NO athlete is EVER thinking.
As a side note: Richard Sherman also called out Skip Bayless on Bayless’ own show, which trumps pretty much anything bad that Richard Sherman has done in his life.
The stand, purchased from an Isle of Wight seller for £5,500, has been taken apart and will be brought on a truck to the town, 10 miles south of Colchester, and put up on Friday in time for the weekend’s game, which is being billed as the biggest in the club’s history.
Brightlingsea, who attract more than 100 spectators a game, were promoted to the Eastern Counties League Premier Division, the ninth tier, last season.
Their North Road ground has a 50-seat stand, but the club need to increase that to 100 by the end of March to meet league requirements.
The new stand takes their seating capacity to 157, which will also satisfy the standards of the league above, should the R’s, who are currently sixth in the table, win promotion again.
Despite the intense star power of Dick Vermeil and Dennis Green, scouting mavens and genuine gridiron degenerates aside, who amongst us even knew the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl was taking place Saturday night? LSU FB J.C. Copeland was the game’s MVP, but his most outstanding performance of the evening took place with his helmet off, as seen above.
Tortorella matched Calgary’s opening line of Blair Jones, Brian McGrattan and Kevin Westgarth with Dale Weise, Tom Sestito and Kellan Lain. When the Flames chose noted pugilist Westgarth—who had taken two faceoffs all season and a total of nine in his four-year NHL career—to take the opening draw, Tortorella had Canucks’ defenseman Kevin Bieksa move up to replace and protect Lain, the Lake Superior State product who was making his NHL debut.
Mayhem ensued. Everyone on the ice other than the goaltenders dropped their gloves and fought. Tortorella moved down the bench and screamed at length at Hartley, who acted oblivious to it all and remained above the fray that he essentially had initiated.
After the match had ended with a shootout victory, Tortorella talked about the need to protect his team while all too predictably verbally attacking straw men (“all the pundits and all the people who moan about it, they don’t have a clue what a locker room is like”) who might take umbrage at his tactics.
In news that might make some Manhattan residents nostalgic for the stop-and-frisk tactics of former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, a succession of taverns are planning “Francesa Con” for the day prior to Super Bowl XLVIII. In what might be the most chilling sentence published in recent memory, organizer Michael Leboff tells the NY Daily News’ Bernie Augustine, “I think it started out that way (just a way for people who like Francesa to get together) but now it’s really taken on a life of its own.”
Seven bars (coincidentally the same number as Mike’s hero, Mickey Mantle) are participating in the event — Saloon NYC (where registered fans will get their bracelets), Rathbones, Mad River, Swig, The Bullpen, East End Bar & Grill and the supply room. A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Children’s Network for Hope, the Coalition for Brain Injury research and Detroit Mutual Aid/National Firefighter’s Endowment Fund.
“First reaction was, Wow, that’s hilarious,” said Michael McCann, GM of Saloon and not WFAN update-man Mike McMann, who added that everyone involved agreed that they wanted to avoid the scandals that come with SantaCon (so Mongos should be well-behaved on Feb. 2). “We wanted to hop on board. We’re big fans here of Mike Francesa.”
Details are still being hammered out — it’s free to attend, though you have to register online at eventbrite.com — but here’s what we know: attendees are encouraged to dress like Francesa, or another WFAN personality, and there’s a contest for the best costume; there may be a live show, of sorts, featuring well-known Francesa impersonators.
Between a recent Boston Globe gossip item and a New Year’s Eve tweet from the Red Sox third baseman himself, it seems pretty fair to assume that Will Middlebrooks and NESN sideline reporter Jenny Dell (above) are a couple (of adults-doing-adult-things). Though not wishing the young lovers any ill will, WEEI’s Kirk Minihane considers the situation untenable and argues that Dell should not return to NESN come spring training, though you’ll note he’s not suggested trading Middlebrooks. “It’s already tough enough for young, attractive female reporters to be taken seriously, isn’t it?” asks Minihane, and fittingly enough, his WEEI.com article features a link to another site’s, “In Case You Forgot How Hot Erin Andrews Is” essay.
I’m sure Jenny Dell considers herself a reporter (and the “She’s not a real reporter” angle is a terrible defense). I’m sure she takes great pride in her work (when reached by phone, Ms. Dell very politely declined to comment for this story, as did Middlebrooks when contacted via direct message on Twitter). And entering a romantic relationship with a player weakens her as a reporter. It is the very definition of conflict of interest.
It’s simple, really — it’s not difficult to spitball a couple of realistic scenarios. If Dell knows Middlebrooks (or another teammate) is traded an hour before anyone else, is it possible she’ll hold reporting on it if Middlebrooks asks her to? How about if Middlebrooks failed a drug test? Or if he’s injured and not telling anyone else about it?
You could absolutely argue that many, if not most, reporters (particularly beat guys) know things about players and occasionally hold off on making the news public. But usually it happens because the reporter knows he or she is currying favor to break another story down the line, to get something better and get it first. This is different, this is protecting a player and hurting your employer and failing to perform your job simply because of an existing relationship. That doesn’t work.
NESN can go one of two ways: Ignore and be subject to deserved ridicule, or perform as an actual network would. There are real professionals in the Red Sox broadcast both in front of and behind the camera and it would injure their credibility to be part of a team that includes the girlfriend of a player, popular and capable though she may be.
With this week’s unveiling of some brutal clip-art branding for his upcoming subscription-only podcast/portal/thing, former Sirius/XM host Dino Costa achieved the rare feat of having as many logos for his new product as he possesses legit twitter followers. If that wasn’t enough to convince his handful of acolytes the vaunted “Dino Project” (think “The Manhattan Project”, only louder and less insightful) was worth $10 a month, Costa posted a rather unflattering portrait of former colleague / titular “Mad Dog Radio” boss Chris Russo, resplendent in a pose that wasn’t quite butch enough for the former (keeping in mind Dino’s personal style guru would appear to be this guy). What followed via Costa’s Twitter account was curious, even by his standards ; apparently Dino’s Boston-based money marks have conducted a focus group and determined the key to their investment is some combination of bullying/outing/calling Chris Russo a fag. It’s that sort of fierce independence that mysteriously failed to find a prior audience at satellite radio, myriad whistle-stops at podunk-ish / secondary markets, but seems destined to generate at least a couple of hundred dollars in annual revenues this time around.
In two tweets sent Wednesday morning, Sandoval wrote, “I just wanted to express my opinion about some media comment about me losing 42lbs, I haven’t made any comment about how much weight…
“… I had lost so far. the day everyone will find out is the day before we report for ST 2014 – On a Mission – God Bless You all.”
The Giants have spent years trying to convince Sandoval to get into better shape, and according to Rafael Rojas of Meridiano TV, the Panda told reporters in his native Venezuela that he has dropped 42 pounds this offseason.
The redacted incident report from East Hanover police shows that on Nov. 19 at 5:30 p.m., cops responded to a call from a woman who said she had parked her vehicle in a spot to the right of a black Cadillac Escalade outside the Target along Route 10. A man was sitting inside the Escalade with the window open, said the woman, whose name was redacted in the incident report. That man would later be identified as Winslow, 30, who lives in Madison.
As she exited her vehicle, she commented to the male regarding how cold it was. As she stood near the open driver side window of the Escalade, she observed the males [sic] erect penis. She stated that she believed he was masturbating. [The woman] provided a written statement regarding her account.
By the time police arrived, an officer found Winslow allegedly “slouched in his seat and moving around.” Winslow sprang to an upright position when the officer arrived. When the cop asked Winslow what he was doing, Winslow allegedly said he was looking for Boston Market but was lost.
The cop noticed Winslow was wearing “dark colored” sweatpants and wrote that “his genitals were not exposed.” But the cop also noticed “two open containers of Vaseline on his center console” and plastic bags marked “Mr. Happy” and empty plastic containers of “Funky Monkey” scattered throughout the vehicle.
Nets owner Mikhail Prokorhov attended Wednesday night’s 127-110 defeat of Atlanta at London’s O2 Arena, the first Brooklyn game he’s witnessed in person since the season opener last November. Quizzed by traveling US media, Prokhorov bristled at suggestions his absenteeism is hurting the the team, with the following quotes supplied by the New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy :
“Frankly speaking, there’s a lot of criticism that I am not in Brooklyn. But I just have a question for you: Do you really think you need me sitting in the arena to see a game?” said Prokhorov, noting that he has been busy preparing for the Winter Olympics in Sochi as the president of Russia’s Biathlon Union. “My friends, we are living in the 21st century. And in spite of the fact I have no computer, I still have a subscription for NBA games and, for me, it’s like enough to even have a look on the stats so you can understand what is going on. . . .So like I’m full in, I’m all in for this team and I think it’s the only way how to reach championship.”
“What is more important is that Jason Kidd is becoming more and more comfortable. And what is important is he has the support of the players,” Prokhorov said when asked about the difference between Kidd and Johnson. “And that’s the only way how we can conduct together. So everything is OK because, of course, we can’t make any excuse with injuries. And what I’m glad to see is the players stepping up in the situation. Now everything is more or less OK.”
Prokhorov also seemed to back GM Billy King, saying he and the team will do “our best to make him Executive of the Year.”
Philly Mag’s Dan McQuade is careful to stress the above vehicle is almost certainly not Michael Vick’s personal ride. I’m not sure what the exact tip-off was, but perhaps the absence of an “I’d Rather Be Slaughtering Innocent Creatures” bumper sticker made it a little too obvious.
“Andy Kaufman was ahead of his time,” Bonner said. “He was on a different level. In a weird way, I relate to Andy Kaufman. I don’t even know. Just something about it spoke to me. Bottom line, it’s a hilarious skit.”
At least one teammate knew what Bonner was doing: Manu Ginobili, who learned about Kaufman through Jim Carey’s biopic “Man in the Moon.”
Said Manu Ginobili, “I liked it. I’d seen it because of Jim Carey and that movie. Before that I didn’t know who Andy Kaufman was. But that part was very funny. If there’s somebody to do that, it’s definitely Matt.”
“The Republican Party is scared of empathy,” argues Salon’s Jeremiah Goulka, pointing to party support for Washington owner Daniel Snyder’s refusal to consider changing his team’s nickname. “They never would a team called the Whiteskins, the Brownskins, the Blackskins, or the Yellowskins,” claims Goulka, and amongst the succession of flimsy justifications he presumes support keeping the name (including but not limited to “intent” and pride in not buckling for liberal / special-interest groups), the scariest of the bunch oughta be “Feelings Are For Sissies”.
There remains the frightening possibility that some Republican might try to imagine how a Native American might feel about teams or mascots appropriating (or insulting) his culture. Lest that nice Republican go off the proverbial reservation, there is a ready-made prophylactic that can be stated in these simple words: “Don’t be a sissy.”
This prophylactic is built into Republicans definitions of masculinity. One of the first things you learn as a boy in a Republican community is that manhood is of the utmost importance, and the prime way to be a man is to avoid anything effeminate. Feelings, emotions, and all that other irrational stuff like empathy are girly.
Republicans love to knock Bill Clinton for saying, “I feel your pain.” We are living in “The Age of Feelings,” wrote National Review columnist Dennis Prager, making fun of people who might take issue with the Redskins name. That magazine recently ran an article entitled “Against Empathy.” The implication is clear: Feelings are for losers — that is, liberals, those sensitivity-preaching, holier-than-thou, bleeding-heart, sad sacks of emotions. Grow a pair.
I was thrilled to witness a number of inane teenagers attack Macklemore’s Instagram photo post of a shiny jacket declaring “49ERS SUCK.” While some of the comments supported the pro-Seahawks sentiment, most were bereft of much thought at all, summed up by emmypeach8: “#yourabitch #hater #judgementalrapper.” Or perhaps by mogalybearbeck, “OMG and I totally THOUGHT you were awesome…change of heart. officially, with this post!”
I notice that the comments adopt a cyclical repetition. A number of people threaten to unfollow Macklemore’s account. dtab22 and others declare that they are no longer fans. Fair-weather followers turn their backs, not on a man who has urinated on under-aged girls, but a person who has posted a picture of a jacket. A number of controversial slurs emerge. 49ers209 chimes in with, “U suck fag ur shehawks are going down u see!” Another commenter offers the confusing, “I hate the 49ers but you gotta love this jacket.”
“No one on earth is allowed to question my business decisions. I won’t allow it,” Allam told Sky Sports. “I can give you my CV to give you comfort, for what I do in business, what I have achieved, but for someone to come and question me is not allowed.
“I’m here to save the club and manage the club for the benefit of the community. It will never, never be the other way round – that the community manage it for me. But if the community say go away, I promise to go away with 24 hours.”
Manager Steve Bruce has been trying to mediate in the dispute, and has repeatedly warned of the threat to Hull’s future if Allam decides he has had enough.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Monday that despite a dramatic improvement to the Saints’ defense in 2013, New Orleans defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is unlikely to be considered for head coaching vacancies due to, well, looking like a homeless guy.
USA Today’s Chris Chase correctly cites the Hooded Casanova’s success in New England as a reason why owners need not fear Ryan’s unkempt look, though there’s certainly an argument to be made that none of the contemporary NFL coaches look nearly as professional in their officially licensed pajamas as Tom Landry did wearing an ensemble sans logos. Earlier this week, PFT’s Mike Florio opined, “from the Sons of Anarchy hair and beard to the snake-digesting-a-medicine-ball profile, few owners will be willing to embrace Rob Ryan as the man in charge of the team,”, and while that take seems plausible enough, keep in mind, this is a league in which an adult dressed like this was once gainfully employed.
Prior to Alex Rodriguez filing a lawsuit against Major League Baseball and his own union (!) earlier today, past A-Rod accessory-turned-snitch Anthony Bosch and MLB commissioner Bud Selig appeared on CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday night. In the view of Joe Posnanski, no one questioned or fingered on the program came off particularly well, but that’s not to say the producers and interrogator covered themselves in glory, either.
Scott Pelley and 60 Minutes point out that on one date that corresponds with text messages, Rodriguez took these at least one of these gummies. The date was April 6, 2012. Opening Day. Pelley says that Rodriguez had a “great game.” He went two-for-three with two walks, two runs scored and hit a “412-foot double.” The stuff works! “
“The combination,” Bosch said, “makes playing playing the game of baseball a lot easier.”
Yeah, well: The report doesn’t really mention that Rodriguez went one for his next 16, hit one home run in his first 13 games and hit just .272 with 18 home runs the whole season, probably the worst of his career up to that point.
In fact, the report doesn’t mention that since working with Bosch — based on Bosch’s own recollection — Rodriguez has hit .269/.356/.441 with 41 home runs in three seasons. His body has fallen apart. He has played in three playoff series and in those hit .111 and .125 and .111 again.
Pelley for some reason thought Bosch should be feeling regret over what he did, as if he was talking to somebody who had dedicated his life to the honor and integrity of baseball. That was really strange. Pelley seemed on the surface to understand he was talking to a lying drunken drug dealer, but then he asks Bosch how he could do this to the game of baseball. How could you, Tony? You knew it was wrong. You knew it was hurting the game. How, Tony?
“I felt I had a responsibility to do it,” Bosch said. He said, yes, absolutely, if he had not been caught he would still be doing it.
Then, after saying Bosch had no criminal record other than parking tickets and a citation for practicing without a license (with apparently no concern for the countless crimes he was copping to on the show), 60 Minutes cleared the decks to let Anthony Bosch offer a little soliloquy about the game. “I love the game of baseball,” he says. “Unfortunately this is part of baseball. It’s always been part of the game.” Yes, he said “Unfortunately.”
“But this cuts to the heart of fair play,” Pelley said, still appealing to, well, I’m not sure what.