….and loses. It’s 7pm in Texas and they’re almost finished reviewing that call.
….and loses. It’s 7pm in Texas and they’re almost finished reviewing that call.
Ron Johnson, huh? Did you have any idea the Mets’ former International League affiliate had so many Jackdaw With Crowbar fans in the marketing department?
…but that doesn’t mean he can’t try. Days after the New York Times profiled São Paulo busing magnate turning record hound-to-the-extreme Zero Freitas and his efforts to snap up collections faster than his interns can archive ‘em, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Scott Mervis reports Jerry Weber (above) of the legendary Jerry’s Records is keen to talk turkey. Or records for cash, as it were.
“I heard whispers about [Mr. Freitas] for years,” Mr. Weber says. “He was a little sneaky about it. He didn’t want people to know what he was doing.”
“I’m sorry to see the records leave, it’s kind of sad that they’re leaving our country to go to Brazil, but those records have been out of circulation. We weren’t allowed to look at them, they were too expensive to buy.”
Mr. Weber, who owns 2.5 million albums between his store and warehouse and has been featured on “best record store lists” as well as on the A&E show “Hoarders,” admits that he’s a bit jealous of the Brazilian operation, which he estimates at around 8 million pieces.
Not surprisingly, he’s conflicted about his collection, built over three decades, saying, “I don’t want to sell them to Brazil. I’m patriotic. I think people in Pittsburgh should be able to hear them. But I’d have to be a fool not to do it.”
He has five grandchildren, he said, and “my kids would never forgive me” if he passed on a deal like that.
Nonetheless, Pittsburghers shouldn’t worry too much about the disappearance of Jerry’s, because collecting is in his blood.
“I just turned 66, so I’ve got four, five years,” he laughs. “I would start all over again. The way I buy records, I could build it back up in no time.”
There was a bit of internet hysteria this weekend when a handful of Braves fans took great umbrage at Nats OF Bryce Harper dragging his cleats thru the Atlanta “A” inscribed in the dirt behind home plate at Turner Field. “#RespectTheA” was the hashtag the Braves’ social media mavens attempted to popularize, which is pretty fucking rich considering their pending move to Cobb County is more disrespectful to Atlanta than anything Harper could come up with on his own. Even so, SBN’s Grant Brisbee is pretty psyched at the prospect of logo tarnishment becoming The Next Big Thing :
My dream is to make this a thing, an arms race, a part of the theater. Players could actively scout out ways to defile the logos when they’re at different ballparks. They’re already getting heckled and booed, and it would be a delightful release. Drag a cleat through the dirt. Methodically futz up the patterns in the outfield, inning by inning, until the 50-foot grass sock at Fenway resembles something obscene. This could be something. This could be something.
All it takes is an enterprising soul, the Bill Veeck of baseball players, someone who appreciates a slight detour to the WWE side of professional sports. Baseball can definitely use someone who makes logo defilement a part of their road trip routine. He could scout out targets in every park, and maybe a grounds crew could mess with him, setting the logo in something that’s more like quick-set cement, and watching the player get his cleat caught and look like a dummy.
It’s a tradition waiting to happen.
Philly hedge-fund manager Andrew Barroway’s NYC ICE has sued New York Islanders owner Charles Wang (right) over the latter reneging on an agreement to sell the NHL franchise for $420 million. According to the suit, reported on by the New York Daily News’ Barbara Ross and Patrick Leonard, Wang seemed to think recent events surrounding the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers had inflated the Islanders’ market value :
In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Barroway’s corporation blames Wang’s “about-face” on a whimsical case of “seller’s remorse” directly influenced by the “unrelated news” of former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion bid to buy the NBA’s Clippers from Donald Sterling, the team’s embattled, soon-to-be-former owner.
NY ICE’s lawsuit claims the parties “shook their hands on an agreement” and NY ICE started to line up NHL approval and financing for the $450 million price agreed upon in March. However, Wang “without notice, abruptly refused to proceed to close the transaction and honor the terms of their 70-page purchase agreement and instead “improperly sought to renegotiate the already agreed upon price.”
Beginning with an in-person meeting in New York on June 10, the lawsuit alleges Wang made his first of several references giving “thanks to Steve Ballmer.” Then the suit states that in a July 16 meeting, again in New York, Wang “blind-sided Barroway by demanding $548 million” to buy the Islanders.
“Wang, whose greed was further stoked by the Ballmer bid, … set on a course of bad faith conduct to improperly renege on the agreement and eventually blind-side NY ICE with a substantially-increased price demand,” the lawsuit states.
What were your reference points for the cover design?
We looked through a lot of flier references, specifically from the Washington, D.C., hardcore and punk scene. We were looking through fliers for Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Dead Boys and Fugazi. I loved that music in high school. The energy and the hardscrabble, D.I.Y. spirit of those bands really captured my imagination when I was in high school.
(NY Times Op-Ed art director Matt Dorfman, interviewed by the paper’s Jeannie Choi about the cover design to today’s New York Times Magazine).
Considering the Dead Boys were never based in DC, predated hardcore and disbanded before Minor Threat debuted, Dorfman could’ve just as easily cited the poster/sleeve aesthetic of Paul faves Rush.
Houston F forward Donatas Motiejunas (above) told a Lithuanian radio show last month that teammates James Harden and Dwight Howard were too big time to dine with the rest of the squad. After said remarks were circulated worldwide, Motiejunas would like everyone to know he was only kidding. From the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen :
“The radio show, the guys that work there, make fun of everybody,” Motiejunas, who called from Lithuania said. “It’s a funny radio show. Everybody in Lithuania listens. They told me to try to be funny, try to make the jokes. They told me to be free. They asked some question. I joked about one thing. I joked about the other thing.
“They asked about the team. I tried to be funny. They asked how they (Harden and Howard) approach the team. I told them like, “Hey, they’re not with us. I stay alone.’ Then the journalists in Lithuania took the interrview and took it serious and posted my interview. I didn’t talk with no journalists. It was just a fun radio show.”
Motiejunas said on the radio show “Basically I just say ‘Hello’ and ‘goodbye’ to them.
“They eat different food from me. They eat fast food.”
In all seriousness, if Dan Snyder is going to continue to try and buy his way out of a public relations black hole, he at the very least might wanna run the solicitation copy through some kind of condescension-check program.
On a couple of occasions, there’s a couple of fellas on Twitter who take me to task anytime I so much as link from or quote any items by the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman. It seems that because the noted Gallagher lookalike does some televised yapping on one of SNY’s sundry sub-PTI programs, Bob’s considered some sort of Wilpon-shill, one whose constant critiques of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman are symptomatic of an alleged Mets bias.
So with that in mind, consider that on Friday, Raissman had harsh words for SNY colleagues Gary Cohen and Ron Darling after the pair scoffed at the network’s promised coverage of Matt Harvey’s rehab work in Port St. Lucie. On one hand, he’s clearly blasting Mets announcers. But he’s calling them out for criticizing a promotional spiel designed to benefit….the Mets!
“He takes his throwing program to Florida tomorrow,” Jonas Schwartz crooned Monday during a break in the sixth inning of Giants-Mets. “We (SNY) will have a camera crew there to take you every step of the way. Full coverage throughout the day.”
Then came the silence. Next came the voice of Gary Cohen. “I don’t even know what to say,” Cohen, incredulously, said.
“I know what to say,” Ron Darling said. “After the (Harvey) throwing, bloomin’ onions all around.”
For a moment forget Cohen and Darling had just verbally bum-rushed Schwartz, an innocent bystander here. The analyst and play-by-play man knew Schwartz had delivered a pure promotional pitch. They’ve heard a million of them, articulated some themselves, but still elected to make light of this particular one.
Cohen then wanted to know if he and Darling would be doing “live reports” from Washington on Harvey throwing in Florida. “I’m taking the Acela (to Washington). Mine gets in around 6:30 p.m. before the game,” Darling said.
Cohen: “Maybe we can rig up a camera and crew for you on the train.”
Their sarcasm translated into the notion they didn’t think Harvey throwing a bullpen session in the wilting Port St. Lucie heat was that big of a deal. Certainly not big enough for their network to provide “full coverage.”
Prior to Jon Lester being dealt to Oakland last week, much was made of the veteran’s desire to return to Fenway as a free agent next winter. In stark contrast, however, is OF Carl Crawford, who while toiling part time for the Dodgers, found a moment to speak with a sports radio outlet Thursday and make a number of vague allusions to Boston being, well, a shitty place to play. For him, anyway. From WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford :
“That place is going to be the same forever and I don’t want no part of it,” Crawford said. “It was one of the toughest times of my life. That’s a scar that I think will never go away. I’ll always remember that feeling.”
“I definitely wouldn’t have went to the highest bidder. If I could have done it over again I would have gone into more detail into everything. I didn’t do any research about nothing. I didn’t know much about Boston, only when I played there. If I went into a little more depth as to what I was getting myself into things probably would have been a little different.”
“I would like to think I know when it’s time to make big decisions in your life you know to do a little more research,” Crawford explained. “Look into a little bit more. I decided to sign with the Red Sox in five minutes. I didn’t have no time to think about it. They told me this, bam, 10 minutes later I was signing with the Red Sox. It was one of those things I didn’t look into it as much as I should have. I didn’t call other players and ask around. I didn’t do nothing. I just had my eye on one thing at the time.”
Or rather, $142 million things at the time.
During Major League Soccer’s stint of playing summer exhibitions featuring the league’s All-Stars vs. a traveling international powerhouse, not once has one of the latter demanded a rematch. But that seems to be what’s happened after last night’s 2-1 dispatch of Bayern Munich, with the latter’s Pep Guardiola blowing off Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter’s attempts to make nice at the final whistle (above). From Soccer By Ives’ Franco Panizo :
“I hope they invite us next year so we can try and to make the revenge,” said Guardiola, who allegedly shook hands with Porter in the locker room. “I will prepare a little bit better and we will be sure of what is going on and we will prepare much better. We will do it. I hope our invitation is coming.”
“I thought the tackles that happened were unfortunate and wasn’t like I was happy about them, but there’s things that happen in a soccer game,” said Porter. “There was no ill intent. I understand the frustration completely because they’re in preseason. I’ve been in games in preseason with my teams and you do get sometimes wound up with things like that happen.
“…I understand completely why there was some emotion there, but we certainly didn’t mean to do anything negative in the game and we have the utmost respect for Bayern, their players, Pep – the guy is an idol of mine.”
(image culled from Brokelyn)
I realize the Grub Grub Chop Shop’s choice of words are as distasteful as they are nonsensical, but full credit where due. At least they didn’t promise to PUT YOUR HUNGER IN A CHOKE HOLD.
Kirk Gibson’s eye-for-an-eye policy(or, if you prefer, Andrew McCutcheon for Paul Goldschmidt) has left the Diamondbacks manager and GM Kevin Towers the subjects of widespread ridicule, to which club Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa (above) declaring, “I don’t see where we should catch all this shit”. From the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro :
La Russa, who made no secret of doling out retribution during his time as a major-league manager, said he didn’t know if Diamondbacks right-hander Randall Delgado intentionally threw at McCutchen.
“Who’s got a mind reader?” said La Russa, “I don’t know that Delgado — he got the ball inside. I’m very careful when I say I know. If I don’t know, I don’t know.”
Holding a stat sheet, La Russa pointed out the Pirates have hit 61 batters, the most in the league, while the Diamondbacks have hit just 32. La Russa also downplayed Towers’ comments from the offseason, saying the GM was just saying his team needed to pitch inside more often.
“That’s why I think it’s unfair,” he said. “I think it will continue to be unfair because I don’t think this message will get out.”
Gibson had no interest in discussing the topic.
“I’ve been in the game since 1978, and I know a lot of people have a lot of opinions about a lot of people,” he said. “And there are probably people who talk about you behind your back, too. I don’t really get involved with it.”
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (above) received a measure of abuse from England’sJimmy Anderson during the First Test at Trent Bridge last month, and The Independent’s Stephen Brinkley endeavors to transcribe the more unsavory bits from an item that has England captain Alistair Cook declaring, “we don’t want to be too nicey-nicey.” No danger of that, apparently.
Anderson said to Ravindra Jadeja as they left the field at lunch on the second day: “What the f*** are you smiling at? I’ll knock your f****** teeth out in the dressing room”. According to the testimony of the umpire, Bruce Oxenford, Anderson had directed comments on the field to the India captain, M S Dhoni, saying: “You’re a f****** fat c***.”
Lewis’s report said that Matt Prior, then the England wicketkeeper, had told the hearing that the words “f***” and “f******” were commonplace on the international cricket field. Anderson is an enthusiastic user and Cook has no intention of telling him to curb his behaviour.
“Of course, there’s little bits where he might have overstepped the mark throughout his career but you’d rather be on that line than too passive,”
Mavericks Owner (With A Boner) Mark Cuban has long been an outspoken opponent of international summer competitions putting his highly paid NBA players and those of other franchises at risk of injury. In the wake of Paul George’s horrific mishap last Friday in Las Vegas, Cuban’s opportunity to say “told ya so” is slightly undermined by the New York Times’ Harvey Araton, who asks, “where, pray tell, would Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks be without Dirk Nowitzki, who in 1992 was 14 when the Dream Team bounded across his television screen in Germany and into the consciousness of young dribblers everywhere?”
By then, the N.B.A. was several years into an alliance with FIBA, the sport’s international governing body, with the mutually stated goal of growing the game by exporting the best of the best from the country that invented it. To a boy like Nowitzki, the Dream Team legacy was clear enough: grow tall, work hard, and possibly one day have it all, American riches along with Olympic rewards.
For the world’s professionals, including the shoe company ambassadors from the United States, those benefits have been mingled both tangibly and intangibly, contrary to Cuban’s charges that “the greatest trick ever played” was the International Olympic Committee’s “convincing the world that the Olympics were about patriotism and pride instead of money.”
Major League Baseball wishes it could devise a formula to make its players available so the sport could be reinstated. That is why the N.B.A., with new growth frontiers in Africa and India, still needs the Olympics and why Cuban, when stretching the context of George’s misery to stand on his soapbox, sounded more like a manipulator than he did a maverick, a self-promoting television shark with a ravenous ego to feed.
Former Maccabi Tel Aviv / current Cavs head coach David Blatt recently received the greatest Christmas-in-June present of all time when LeBron James announced his intention to return to Cleveland. Conversely, the Cavs P.R. dept received a big,flaming-bag-of-shit on their doorstep, courtesy of the following conversation between Blatt and Globes’ Yoav Borovitch :
Borovitch : Now, of all times, when Israel is in a war, you are not in Israel.
Blatt: “That’s exactly what’s making me uncomfortable. I’ve always been in Israel at the hardest times. Since Operation Protective Edge began, I feel being in Israel is the most natural thing for me to do. My work is here, though, and I have to get ready for the coming season. It’s not easy for me when I’m constantly thinking about what’s happening in Israel. My two older daughters happen to be on their global post-army service tour, my son is overseas playing in in the European Youth Basketball Championship, and my youngest daughter is also out of the country for a few days. They’re all returning to Israel, though, and I’m planning on seeing them again at the beginning of August. I had a plane ticket with Delta Airlines, but I changed to El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) as soon as Delta canceled its flights to Israel.”
Borovitch : Do you support the operation?
Blatt : “Absolutely. In my opinion, this war is Israel’s most justified war I can remember in recent years. I’m really sorry about what’s happening in Gaza, but there’s no doubt that we had to act there, so that Israel will have quiet there once and for all, and we can live in peace.”
Borovitch : Do you feel support for Israel in the US?
Blatt : “There’s support, although sometimes it’s not enough. In my opinion, though, there’s more support this time than before.”
Reprobate extraordinaire Lenny Dykstra completed a half-year sentence in federal prison for bankruptcy fraud some 13 months ago, leading the New York Times’ Richard Sandomir to quiz the former NL MVP about a web venture, Nails Investments, that continued to operate during Dykstra’s stay in the stoney lonesome. “I’m 455-1″ boasts Dykstra of his alleged option-picking prowess, and while his ex-wife, Terry tells Sandomir her former spouse “has definitely been humbled,” there’s not much evidence of such in the interview.
Time and again, Dykstra returned to his stock-option savvy and that 445-1 record of success. He said he was preparing a marketing campaign that included a letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission that he believed would defeat any skeptics.
“The S.E.C. investigated me, and they were going to put me in jail,” he said. “I was 110-0, and everybody thought what I was doing was bull. It was crazy, man. The investigator tried hard but couldn’t punch any holes in it. I’m bulletproof.”
Kelly Bowers, a senior assistant regional director of the commission’s Los Angeles office, wrote to Dykstra on June 14, 2010, “The investigation has been completed as to Lenny K. Dykstra, against whom we do not intend to recommend any enforcement action by the commission.”
Dykstra said: “I’m on federal probation. I can’t lie that I’m 445-1 if I’m not 445-1.” Bowers declined to comment or to confirm the existence of the letter or any investigation.
…to Bob Kravitz’ patriotism. A day after Pacers F George fractured the tibia-fibula in his right leg during a USA Basketball scrimmage at Las Vegas’ Thomas & Mack Center, the Indy Star’s Kravitz was quick to suggest maybe, y’know, this Dream Team shit isn’t such a great deal for NBA franchises.
There’s been momentum for some time to do away with NBA players performing on national teams. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been very outspoken in the past in expressing his disdain for Dirk Nowitzki playing for the German national team. Larry Bird, himself an original Dream Teamer, noted in his statement that he supported the concept, but if I’m an owner or a GM now, and I’m paying my star player $15 million and more to perform in the NBA, I’m not sure I’m bullish on this idea anymore.
Now, the stanchion on the basketball court. It’s 2.2 feet closer to the baseline than it is on a regulation NBA court. Watching video of the injury — and it’s not for the queasy or the faint of heart — it’s safe to say this never would have happened on a regulation NBA court. George’s leg got caught up against and underneath the stanchion.
“I know there’s a big national debate about that now,” was as far as (Pacers GM) Kevin Pritchard would go.
If I’m USA Basketball, I’m done with the Thomas & Mack Center or any place that isn’t configured like a proper NBA court.
There’s no way this one’s still available.
With an item that narrowly missed being the meat of today’s Phil Mushnick column (give it a few days, folks), the Wall Street Journal’s Sharon Terlap and Andrew Beaton report FSU head coach Jumbo Fisher was called to the carpet by Nike after his 9 year old son was seen on national TV donning an Under Armor shirt.
The postgame embrace, captured by ABC cameras, struck most viewers as a heartwarming moment—especially given Ethan Fisher’s widely reported struggle with Fanconi anemia, a rare and serious genetic disease. But a different reaction emerged from one camp: Nike Inc.
In an email sent hours after the Nov. 2 game, Mark Dupes, who as Nike’s assistant director for football sports marketing helps oversee the company’s $4.2 million licensing and apparel deal with the school, congratulated Florida State administrators on the win. “Hey guys great win and game! Appreciate everything you all do for us! Keep it rolling.”
Then Dupes turned to another matter: the sweatshirt Ethan wore during that on-field embrace. “Hey got a text from the USA Director of Sports Marketing last night telling me of how good things look w FSU and our players and sideline staff, exposure for the Brand was exceptional. Then 5 min later I rec a new message…Said ABC cameras were on Jimbo and his Son ad end of the game…His son was Wearing Under Armour FSU sweatshirt! Ouch. Can we please ask Jimbo to eliminate that from the son’s wardrobe in the future! Let me know if I can help w anything. Thx guys. MD”
Or, if you prefer, “giant skid full of Yoenis Cespedes giveaway shirts”.
As the 2014 MLB Trade Deadline has come and gone, far removed from the blockbusters that saw such leading lights as Jon Lester and David Price change uniforms are the New York Mets, who proved to be neither sellers (of Bartolo Colon or Daniel Murphy) or buyers (of Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzales). With GM Sandy Alderson (above) missing an opportunity to stockpile young talent while dumping Colon, or conversely, take solid aim at contention in 2015 with the addition of the proven Tulowitzki, unless your name is Ruben Amaro, you’d have every right to wonder “what the fuck is going on”? However, as the far more calm and collected Howard Megdal of Capital New York reminds us, what’s going on is pretty much the same thing that’s been going on every season of the post-Bernie Madoff era (ie. player development aside, very little).
Taking the sum of where the Mets are at this point, it’s easier than ever to see the Mets as one or two key acquisitions away from making a real run at the pennant.
The question, and the whole basis for any serious conversation about Tulowitzki, is whether ownership’s financial problems make such acquisitions close to impossible.
Alderson is finished pretending that the next spending spree is around the corner. The party line is now that as soon as the fans start showing up again, the Mets will spend, a ludicrous blame-the-fans strategy for the predicament the team is in because ownership is spending their excess television revenue to stay afloat financially.
If the Mets had an ability to spend money like the rest of the league, let alone near the top of it, they could afford to make trades like this. They could deal some of their prospects, secure in the knowledge that they were adding the relative certainty of in-prime superstars. (If Tulowitzki’s injury history is an unknown, what on earth do we call the incredibly high attrition and failure rate of pitching prospects?)