Earlier this year, our good friend, Death Of Samantha and Cobra Verde mastermind John Petkovic took to the pages of the Plain-Dealer to sign the praises of local sports nut Ken Ross Jr., whose “Ralphie’s Mom Hates Duck Head” sign (above) received airtime during coverage of the Oregon vs. Ohio State national championship. With the Cavs colliding with the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, Ross tells Petkovic he has a worthy follow-up in mind ;
Last week, Ross busted on to the Cleveland airwaves with a sign that popped up on Fox Sports, during the broadcast of the Cleveland Indians game.
IS A BAD
Of course, the sign refers to Kelly Olynyk, the long-haired Boston Celtic who is reviled by Cleveland fans for injuring Cavs forward Kevin Love.
He already has some ideas – timed for the Cavs-Bulls series, which starts tonight:
“CITIES THAT ARE
“We just got done playing Boston and now we’re playing Chicago,” says Ross. “C’mon – how lame is it to name your cities after some ’70s rock band.”
“A lot of people, when they saw me competing never saw the human being behind it,” Hall Of Famer Pedro Martinez tells the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner while promoting the former’s new tome, “Pedro”, hitting bookstores (or what’s left of ‘em) next week. Among the cretins who might not have fully appreciated Pedro The Human while relentlessly pushing Pedro The Workhorse was Mets C.O.O. Jeff Wilpon (above, right), whom Martinez claims forced him to take his turn in the rotation for a meaningless late September contest vs. the Marlins while injured.
Martinez writes that his toe was hurt and that Manager Willie Randolph had told him he was done for the season. But, he said, Wilpon wanted to sell tickets for a matchup against the star Marlins left-hander Dontrelle Willis. Martinez said he protested the order and offered to give back the rest of his contract.
“While I’m the boss here, you’re going to have to do what I say,” Wilpon said, according to Martinez, who gave in and pitched. He lost the game, which drew 25,093 fans, and said the injury prolonged the toe problem. Other parts of his body broke down the next season, and Martinez was inactive for the Mets’ run to Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series.
“I couldn’t help but think about how when I was healthy in 2005, our team wasn’t that good,” Martinez writes. “But as my health declined, I was urged to pitch a meaningless game at the end of 2005 that wound up shortening my recovery time for 2006 and led me to a hospital where doctors performed a three-hour arthroscopic procedure to repair my shoulder.”
In a statement through a spokesman, Wilpon denied that he told Martinez to pitch hurt.
“Pedro was always a great competitor and deserving of being in the Hall of Fame,” the statement said. “This particular excerpt in the book is false as those kinds of decisions have always been put in the hands of our baseball people.”
It would be a big relief to learn that Wilpon was not in the habit of interfering with baseball matters, thus leaving Fred’s son with plenty of time to concentrate on important executive duties (like, ruining David Wright’s career with a ballpark design, or lecturing employees on what it takes to be a good parent).
Collins reportedly sought permission to withdraw from the draft and enter the league through the supplemental draft once his name is cleared from a police investigation.
Collins was once expected to be selected in the first round of the draft, which begins Thursday night. Various reports suggest that Collins is viewed as untouchable by many teams until this situation is settled.
Police have said Collins, 21, is not a suspect in the killing of 29-year-old Brittney Mills, who was fatally shot Friday night at her Ship Drive home. Mills died at her apartment, but was rushed to the hospital where her unborn son was delivered. The baby is expected to survive.
How exactly do we quantify the (allegedly injured) PG Rajon Rondo quitting on his Dallas teammates? Rondo’s failure to show up in the Mavs’ first-round loss to Houston surely hurt the ex-Celtic’s market value, much as you’d have to give Mark Cuban a failing grade for acquiring Rondo in the first place (and the week’s been bad enough for The Owner With A Boner as is — NICE WORK, CLAY TARVER). In the wake of all this, the Fort-Worth Star Telegram’s Dwain Price reports Rondo’s Mavs colleagues have noted not to split their playoff windfall, though by NBA standards, we’re talking tip money :
When it came time for the 14 players to vote on whether or not to give Rondo a share of the pool of money they earned for qualifying for the playoffs, the Mavs players voted not to give him a share, according to multiple sources.
For participating in the first round of the playoffs, the Mavs earned a total of $208,940. Shared equally among the other 14 players, that’s an estimated $14,924 per player.
Not voting a player a playoff share is not new territory for the Mavs. Back in 2012, the players on that Mavs’ squad voted not to give forward Lamar Odom a playoff share after he was waived on Apr. 8, 2012.
Odom’s end came when he and owner Mark Cuban were involved in a heated exchange in the locker room during an Apr. 7, 2012 game in Memphis. The Mavs played the final nine games of the regular season and their four postseason games without Odom, and were subsequently swept by Oklahoma City in the first round of the playoffs.
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman recently quoted Nats P Max Scherzer as claiming there’s no place for the designated hitter in the National League (“if you look at it from the macro side, who would you rather see hit, Big Papi or me?”), a stance that was criticized by San Francisco’s adept-with-the-bad Madison Bumgarner (“he knew the rules. Whatever much he signed for — what did he get, again? — he didn’t have a problem signing his name”). On Tuesday, Scherzer took to Twitter to, well, pretty much blame everything on Heyman (“I was making an attempt to be funny with those comments and nothing more…this is simply a case of a reporter taking a casual comment and turning it into a story with a specific agenda”). Quotes compiled by DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg :
“In a recent article written by Jon Heyman, there were comments taken out of context that I would like to clarify. First and foremost I value what my colleagues and fellow players think of me and it appears my casual and in-jest comments were not portrayed properly. I was having a casual conversation with Jon discussing Adam Wainwright’s injury and the subject of the DH and pitchers hitting came up. John [sic] asked me if the National League had the DH would it have made a difference in regards to Adam’s injury and I responded ‘no’ as I believed it to be a freak injury and had nothing to do with him actually hitting.
“John [sic] then asked me how I liked hitting in the NL since I made the switch over from the AL and I told John [sic] that I love to hit and enjoyed all of it (bunting, hitting, running the bases, etc.) to help our team any way to win a game. He asked if the NL should have the DL [sic] just like the AL and my response was simply an opinion that I thought at some point it would be good for both leagues to have the same rules.
In a telling show that he is as infantile as the day he first shoved blow up his nose at the local tit bar, Josh Hamilton used the cover of an enabling Joint Drug Agreement (JDA) between MLB and the Players Union to deny any culpability in his relapse.
This coddled hillbilly had no shame in explaining that his relapse into drug and alcohol use (abuse?) was not his problem. As transcribed by Alden Gonzalez for MLB.com, Josh mocked Arte’s naiévété in believing Josh would put baseball first over booze, cocaine and the social nexus where these products are consumed away from society’s basic strictures. On Arte he said:
“He knew what the deal was when he signed me. Hands down. He knew what he was getting, he knew what the risks were, he knew all those things. Under the JDA, it is what it is.”
In other words: Arte signed an addict, that is his problem, not the addict’s problem. No accountability. No taking responsibility. No apologies. And so no accountability for his personal negligence. Just embracing the enablers, mocking the man who had faith in him.
Josh, when you finally die of a drug related matter it won’t be Arte Moreno’s fault. It won’t be the fault of the good fans in Anaheim who figured out your little game. They might have Donnie Moore’s karma on them but they won’t have yours. As much as I would like to say the blame for your future fate lies with the enabling national media and coddling players union, I think of Steve Howe’s face crushed against his truck’s windshield on a lonely interstate highway with crystal meth in his bloodstream and I know that all the blame will be on you, all of it, as it was with Howe. I can only hope that when you do yourself in, which you will, that, mercifully like Howe, you take nobody else with you.
Good bye Josh, today is the first day of the rest of your life and you used it to announce to the world that nothing will ever be your fault. Happy snorting.
With the recovering Matt Harvey being held to a pitch limit of 90 — and perhaps mindful that Terry Collins once allowed Johan Santana to throw something like 14,000 pitches in pursuit of the franchise’s solo no-no, Newsday’s David Lennon quotes an unnamed source as claiming the Mets will only allow The Dark Knight no more than 32 starts this season. So that means he can pitch long relief in September, right?
The next phase of the plan goes into effect this week when the Mets temporarily switch to a six-man rotation and call up Rafael Montero to start Tuesday in Miami. The Mets will go back to five again but intend to use a sixth starter periodically from that point forward to give Harvey extra rest on occasion. The Mets also could get looks at Long Islander Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard in these spot starts, barring injuries, of course.
Harvey is 4-0 with a 3.04 ERA through his first four starts and is averaging 6 2/3 innings, a pace that would put him at 200 innings for 30 starts or 213 innings for 32 by the end of the season. That’s more than the 180 to 190 the Mets had budgeted for Harvey, so they’ll need to get creative — and why Harvey’s complete-game push in Saturday’s 8-2 rout of the Yankees won’t be happening much from now on.
My greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.
The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights.
For those of us who are in mild mourning over the end of the Mets’ 11 game winning streak, the previously untouchable Jacob deGrom getting shelled and Michael Pineda looking as dominant as, well, pre 4/24/15 Jacob deGrom, Luis Castillo would like to remind everyone that it could’ve been much, much worse :
I don’t know which Nancy Mr. @Mets24seven is referring to (and since he’s deleted his account, I cannot ask him directly). But Nancy Allen totally ruled in “Dressed To Kill” and “Robocop”, so keep your head up, Noah. You’re in awesome company!
Excerpts from Olympic gold medalist Amaury Leveaux’s new book, ‘Sex, Drugs and Swimming’ were published this week, and the unsavory revelations caused French Swimming Federation veep Lucien Gastaldello to declare Leveaux (above, right) had “shot himself in the foot.” “”Everyone is disgusted by his attitude,” said Gastaldello. “He was going to do television commentaries on some forthcoming events. He can forget that. Who would speak to him now?” Well, in addition to persons looking to purchase or sell cocaine, I would guess many people. From the BBC :
In a chapter dealing with drug use, Leveaux says that top French swimming stars regularly snort cocaine, mainly – but not only – for fun.
“Some of us wouldn’t spit at a little line of coke from time to time. For others it’s not just a little line, it’s a complete motorway covered in white powder which they zoom down at top speed,” he writes.
“And then let’s not be coy – cocaine is a doping agent. It is the kind of happy drug which gives you the feeling of being invincible and never tired – pushing back your limits and transforming you into a warrior ready for anything.”
He says on one occasion during the Olympics a trainer came to their rooms and warned them that an anti-doping test would take place the next day. “He specifically mentioned cocaine as one to avoid. I found that strange.”
Leveaux also describes an incident at the London Games, where one of the French swimmers – he does not give the name – left a nightclub in the company of the establishment’s female press officer.
“Later that night he sent me a text saying I should come round to the girl’s flat – and that’s where I found him lying on top of her and sniffing a line of coke from between her breasts,” he writes.
Of Phil Jackson’s plans to skip the NBA Draft Lottery, the New York Daily News’ Frank Isola is dismayed by the lack of accountability, warning the latter, “This isn’t the time to get cute and throw Spike Lee up there. Or even Taylor Swift. It shouldn’t be Carmelo Anthony, Derek Fisher, Steve Mills, Allan Houston or Langston Galloway.” How about Matthew Modine? Greg Butler? Would you prefer Vin Baker? What’s Joe Walsh doing that week? Has anyone suggested Anucha Browne-Sanders?
Madison Square Garden has made the last 14 months all about Phil and there is no reason to stop now. He is the face of the franchise, the point man of their proposed resurgence. Sure, Jackson is not solely responsible for getting the Knicks into this mess. But the draft lottery affords him the opportunity to own his mistakes, be accountable and once and for all show the NBA that he is not some mythical Wizard hiding behind the curtain but rather an honest to goodness coaching legend committed to fixing this broken club.
Jackson’s state of the Knicks address lasted 44 minutes on Tuesday and, as usual, included a couple of head scratching moments. He said his recruiting pitch to potential free agents will be triangle heavy because it is system that “enhances their skills.”
“I think there’s a style of how we play,” Jackson added. “We’ve established that…We gave a unique style and that attracts certain people.”
For the record, Jackson is referring to the 17-win Knicks, not the 72-win Chicago Bulls. He also says that Carmelo’s presence will be a drawing card.
Jerry West, Larry Bird and Pat Riley have sucked it up in the past and sat on the dais. If those three legends can do it, so can Jackson.
Our group had bought seats in two different sections so during the second intermission we all met up at one of the out door smoking areas. We walked in together and were booed by everyone. It seemed good natured at first but then we were surrounded and things took a much darker turn. We were surrounded by several dozens of Islanders fans, some of whom blew smoke into the girls in our group’s faces. Several of them were actually pushing us but we clearly weren’t about to start a fight with that many people. I just held my Caps “Unleash The Fury” towel above my head and just took all the boos and chants of asshole and fun stuff like “fuck you faggot”.
At some point a drunk Islanders fan grabbed the rally towel out of my hands and as I tried to get it back Islanders fans swarmed me and it looked like it was going to turn into a brawl but security was quick to break it up. Of course the security guard blamed it on me for “instigating a fight” when all I was doing was silently holding a rally towel and smiling. When someone threw a bottle at our group I told the same security guard about it and he said “no one is throwing anything at you” despite the bottle landing at his feet.
When the game went to overtime and the Islanders won the fans around us started kicking our chairs and pounding on the seat backs on either side of our heads. The guys in front of us turned around and gave us the middle finger. As we left I had people yell “FUCK YOU” in my face and of course more “faggots” and comments about Fatou’s “black hair”.
When we made it to our cars we noticed that our friend Justin’s car had been keyed twice and his rear license plate had been stolen. A few Islanders fans could’t believe it and were pretty great about it but another drunk fan started screaming and bumping up into the face of several of our crew. At some point one of our members pushed him away after he jumped into us and that nearly started another brawl. I fortunately broke it up since I had no interest in going to jail but the guys still pissed right next to my friends car so that he had to stand in a puddle of urine to get into his car.
There was of course almost no security in the parking lot so when a couple of security guards finally came by in a golf cart we stopped them to let them know what happened to Justin’s car. They just told him to call the cops and as they drove off I saw one of them turn to the other and started laughing about the stolen license plate. It was pretty infuriating.
On top of that some of Islanders fans we had tailgated with earlier said they saw the guys who did it. As soon as we left they keyed the car and said “Fuck these Caps fans” as they took the plates off in front of a bunch of other fans who did nothing to stop them. I don’t know why they told us they saw it because they wouldn’t tell us who took it.
I have been to hundreds of professional sporting events in my life, mostly as an away team fan. While I have had some problems with fans in the past (Jets fans mostly) I have never had so many people be so shitty to me and my friends. There were a ton of Islanders fans that were cool to us but we had incident after incident today in a way that I have never seen. The combination of racism, sexism, homophobia, vandalism and violence was something almost impressive to behold. I even heard that some Isles fans were abusing a disabled child in an Ovechkin jersey.
Hopefully when you guys come to Brooklyn, the city I have lived for the last decade, you will do a much better job of controlling your drunk abusive fans and hire some security guards who do their jobs instead of just treating the visiting fans as the enemy. At the very least I am glad there won’t be any seats where you have to duck to see how much time is left in the game.
Thanks and I hope we are the last team to ever play in that awful “barn” you currently call home,
In which Lee Elia, Tommy Lasorda, Hal McRae, heck, even Ryan Leaf have to take their hats & helmets (respectively) off to Reds manager Bryan Price, who on Monday, went thermonuclear on Cincy media, taking exception to reports of C Devin Mesoraco being unavailable for the previous day’s contest versus St. Louis.
Hey, at least they didn’t opt for No Trend Egoslavia! The Washingtonian’s Benjamin Freed reports Chuck Brown’s 1979 Go-Go classic “Bustin’ Out” has been replaced as post HR celebratory music at Nationals Park by “Bang Bang,” the timeless collaboration between Jessie J., Ariana Grande and Niki Minaj, and sadly, the team has refuse to explain their actions.
If the Nationals are trying to restrain their DC exceptionalism, “Bustin’ Loose” never sounded like self-limiting celebration music. It is unquestionably one of the most recognizable tracks in the history of the go-go genre. The song, which Brown and his Soul Searchers released in 1979, topped Billboard’s R&B chart for nearly a month and peaked at No. 34 on the mainstream Hot 100 chart. And even if go-go does not have much renown beyond Washington, “Bustin’ Loose” got a bit of contemporary attention when Nelly sampled it for the hooks in his 2002 hit “Hot in Herre.”
Whatever the reason behind the dismissal of “Bustin’ Loose,” the Nationals may have a tough time turning “Bang Bang” into a fan favorite. While Brown’s song was loud even over the din of high-fiving crowds after a Nationals four-bagger thanks to its soaring horn section, “Bang Bang” is barely audible, with only a few thumps of its bass line washing over the stadium during last Friday’s game, which featured home runs by Harper and Danny Espinosa.
“I’m so accustomed to hearing [“Bustin’ Loose”] that when it didn’t show up, I was like, ‘Huh?’” says NPR’s Susan Vavrick. “It’s got a good hook to it. People react to it. You’re on your feet, you’re standing, you’re clapping. It makes you want to dance. You certainly don’t want to with this Bang Bang song.”
Last summer, ‘The Invention of Solitude’ author Paul Auster (above) took to the New York Times’ “Letters To The Editor” section to propose the following in the hopes of improving baseball’s pace of play ; “Eliminate the two-strike foul ball as a neutral play — neither strike nor ball - and rule it a strike. To compensate for the advantage this would give the pitcher, allow the batter to go to first base after three balls instead of four,” (“This way, no at-bat could last more than five pitches. Pitch counts would go down, allowing starting pitchers to go deeper into games, which in turn would reduce the dead time caused by changing pitchers — the primary reason games last so long these days”). On Saturday, the independent Atlantic League, previously best known for attempted career revivals by John Rocker, Carl Everett and Jose Offerman, put Auster’s suggestion into (experimental) practice during an exhibition game between the Bridgeport Bluefish and the Long Island Ducks. Though the contest was completed in a breezy 2 hours and 15 minutes, Auster tells the New York Times’ Jonathan Zeller that he doesn’t realistically believe his innovations will hit the big time (““I think the feeling among people in the major leagues was that it would be embarrassing”).
“The only way to know if this is a good idea or a bad idea in terms of saving time,” Auster said, “would be to get some computer whiz to play out 100,000 games with these rules and see what happens. One game’s not going to tell us. But one game will be able to tell me that these particular players either enjoyed it or didn’t.”
Bridgeport’s Sean Burroughs fell into the latter camp. “It was completely ridiculous,” he said. “The hitter’s already in a hole enough. You get two strikes, you’re up there battling, you foul off one pitch, and you’re out — that’s a joke.”
Auster said he saw some value in longer at-bats. He fondly remembers the five-minute-plus, nine-pitch strikeout the Dodgers’ Bob Welch threw against the Yankees’ Reggie Jackson to end Game 2 of the 1978 World Series.
“That was very gripping,” he said. “But I think something’s got to go.”
“I would sack them and take the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) on,” he said on BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek. “I don’t think players can do that, it’s scandalous and it’s just another story for Leeds United that is disgraceful.
He added: “I don’t know exactly the players and it might be one or two of them have got a good excuse, but it sounds too stupid to be true.”
Striker Antenucci used Twitter to defend himself, as did goalkeeper Silvestri who posted a picture of a cut on his back suffered against Norwich on Tuesday night.
However, Cherry questioned if they were legitimate reasons to withdraw.
“In the old days you used to play with anything, cuts or one thing or another,” he said. “The managers had a big say in whether you were fit or not. You didn’t just come in and say ‘I’ve got a headache, I’m going home’. I’m sure with George Graham or Don Revie, I can’t imagine what would have happened if you’d have done that.”
(you know the old saying, “Grenada makes, China takes”)
Would you have preferred “Return To Sender” for a headline? Chuck D. once famously declared, “most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamp”, but until Belize gets around to honoring Von LMO, Stephon Marbury is Coney Island’s most contemporary product to receive such an honor, as the NY Post’s Marc Berman (for fuck’s sake, WHO ELSE?) explains :
“I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that people will be able to buy a stamp of me to mail packages anywhere in the world,’’ said Marbury, who plans to give a speech at the National Museum of China in Beijing. “I am truly humbled. Never did I imagine in all of my 38 years of living that I — a kid who grew up 7,000 miles away from Beijing and a kid who came from the projects of Coney Island — would have a stamp of myself. I can never have dreamed it.”
Marbury plans to be back in the United States in late April and attend some playoff games. In his speech, he plans to announce he will be back for another season with Beijing.
So it seems Britt McHenry really turned on the charm when picking up her towed vehicle in Virginia earlier this week. The good news, however, is that since she didn’t Tweet anything that would bum anyone out, there’s no reason for ESPN to suspend her!
(KORRECTION KORNER : ok, well, it seems Ms. McHenry was indeed suspended for a week, but the towing company in question are trying to be good sports about the incident, admitting that “parking enforcement is contentious by nature”, and professing that “neither Gina, our lot clerk, nor our company, have any interest in seeing Britt McHenry suspended or terminated as a result of her comments”. Fair enough, jobless people are less likely to have cars to tow).