(I simply refuse to believe this picture of physical well-being cannot be flipped for Starlin Castro)
Following the acquisition of free agent OF Michael Cuddyer, persons waiting for the Mets to flip some of their quality pitching surplus for a prominent position player are advised not to hold their breath, as one anonymous exec quoted by the New York Post’s Joel Sherman warns, “this might be the worst time in history to be out in the trade market with pitching.”
“No free-agent starters have signed [except A.J. Burnett],” the executive said. “You have the potential to trade for Cole Hamels or Ian Kennedy or a bunch of other really good starters, maybe even Johnny Cueto and Jordan Zimmermann.”
“And every organization now thinks it has pitching. Maybe not as much as the Mets, but more than in the past. No one can find bats. I just think the teams with bats are king right now.”
For example, the Mets have been lined up with the Cubs often as trade partners because New York has tons of young pitching and Chicago a bevy of young bats. But, the executive reasoned, the Cubs also have money. They can, for example, buy Jon Lester or Max Scherzer now and a year from now, when they are better positioned to win, delve into next offseason’s potential trove of Zimmermann, Cueto, etc. And never touch the prospect bats if they do not want. Or just keep hoarding them for trades.
Of course, unless you think a plethora of quality pitching on the market is the only reason Sandy Alderson’s hands are (somewhat) tied, Sherman reminds us that w the Mets “cannot expect a big return for No. 3-5-type starters who come with varying levels of injury concern,” especially not when those starters (Niese, Colon, Gee) come with contracts more likely to make them candidates for a late season salary dump-4-prospects.
Though I deplore Zeb’s use of the slur Jewish American Princess, I salute his service to this nation, promo cutting ability and hope he’s having a wonderful day.
After a listless display against Seattle Thanksgiving night, Niners CEO Jed York (above) felt compelled to issue a public apology via Twitter (“this performance wasn’t acceptable”). Along with citing the regression of Colin Kaepernick, the tenuous status of offensive coordinator Greg Roman and the somewhat reserved ambiance at Levi’s Stadium, the San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami wonders, why, with 4 games left to play (including a rematch in Seattle, December 14) did York show up his head coach?
The only logical reason: York wanted to prepare 49ers fandom for major changes ahead, and let’s all assume that York’s main focus is on Harbaugh’s future.
York and general manager Trent Baalke set this up, intentionally or not, by tacitly suggesting that this was an all-or-nothing season for Harbaugh.
That inflated the conversation about Harbaugh’s future, that trickled into the locker room, that created a sense of doubt about this team if it all faltered and now Seattle has opened up the divide for all to see.
The last time York used words like this, it was near the end of the 2010 season and Mike Singletary was fired a few hours later.
(via Washington’s irony-free Facebook page)
photo courtesy Carson Craig. Let’s get organized!
Over the summer, it was revealed that former Cardiff City manager Malky McKay had made an unflattering reference to then-boss Vincent Tan in a text message to a colleague (“not taking no for an answer from the chink until the 20th time or unless somebody big blows us out of the water. Can you tell him that”) along with an equally unsavory characterization of soccer agent Phil Smith (“go on, fat Phil. Nothing like a Jew that sees money slipping through his fingers”). Upon McKay’s appointment as Wigan’s manager last week, club chairman Dave Whelan found himself under the Football Association’s crosshairs after well, pretty much stating he shares McKays’ sophisticated world-view. From The Guadian’s David Conn :
When appointing Mackay, Whelan said he did not think the manager did “a lot wrong” in the texts. He said it was “nothing” to call a Chinese person a “chink,” as Mackay did of Vincent Tan, the Cardiff owner.
That was strongly rejected by the British Chinese Project and seven Chinese cross-party political and community organisations, who called for “a fitting punishment” by the FA, saying in a statement: “We, the UK Chinese community, refute the claim that there is nothing bad about calling a person of Chinese ethnicity a “chink” – this is at best nonsense, and at worst racist.”
Whelan also said it was not antisemitic or offensive of Mackay to have said of the football agent Phil Smith: “Nothing like a Jew that sees money slipping through his fingers.”
Whelan told the Guardian this only meant Jewish people did not like losing money, like anybody. Asked if he did not think it was offensive, because the claim that Jews love money has been used as a negative stereotype, Whelan said: “Do you think Jewish people chase money a little bit more than we do?”
Asked to clarify if that was his belief, Whelan said “Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else”. He added that he did not think that was offensive at all, because Jewish people are “very shrewd people”.
Whether introducing the hashtag #nosandusky or propositioning teenagers, the Knicks’ enigmatic J.R. Smith has segued from a strong Twitter presence to dishing out history lessons via Instagram. The one shown below has already been deleted :
The New York Daily News’ Jaime Uribarri reports the above missive went over poorly with Smith’s fans :
“You’re a f—— idiot” was one of the the more blunt responses to the head-scratcher of a post , while others, like Twitter user @j_weech1, tried enlightening Smith about the true meaning of the term.
It’s called Black Friday because businesses get into the black (profit) for the year, because it’s the biggest day.”
Alright, maybe so, but wouldn’t “Profitable Friday” be a nicer way of putting it? Also, what’s up with that terrible depiction of Matthew McConaughey above?
(above : while we’re waiting for David Wright to offer his feelings on Ferguson,
fledgling podcaster Dino Costa shared his deepest thoughts)
Kobe Bryant and LeBron James each weighed in via Twitter Monday expressing frustration with a St. Louis County grand jury’s failure to indict Ferguson cop Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18 year-old Michael Brown, but the Nation’s Dave Zirin wonders why “few in the sports media will ever challenge” celebrated white athletes (and no, Chris Kluwe doesn’t have the same cultural cachet) to make similar statements.
It’s horrific that in 2014, we are still, as Funkadelic said in 1972, a nation that eats its young. It should be both an outrage and a shame that the burden is on black America to be the voice of anger when killings like this takes place. People need to stand up and be counted. All people. You either stand with the family of Michael Brown and believe that Officer Darren Wilson should have to stand trial for killing an unarmed teenager, or you believe Officer Wilson’s gobmacking story about what took place when his path crossed Mr. Brown’s in August.
Everyone in the hyper-exalted cultural firmament of sports should be asked if they have any solidarity—verbal or financial—to offer to the family of Michael Brown as well as those on the ground in Ferguson fighting for justice. “Everyone” means not just black athletes. Peyton Manning, Kevin Love, Tom Brady, Mike Trout, Aaron Rodgers: this is the culture that has made you famous. If you want its blessings, then share its burdens and call for justice for Michael Brown. Either black lives matter or they don’t. In other words, either the lives of your teammates matter or they don’t. It’s time, white athletes: take some of the damn weight.
(maybe if these dudes had a crew, a bus and some proper lighting, they’d be sufficiently wild and crazy)
If you’ll allow a momentary digression from more important national events, the duo Pomplamoose —- whose appearances in a series of 2010 Hyundai commercials have been charitably called “the worst thing that ever happened to television, Christmas or cars” (by me, anyway) have published the financial results from a recent month-long tour. Despite selling some $100K in tickets, the tour lost over $10,000.
For those who might question the wisdom of such an endeavor (replete with a crew, 42-foot bus, commission paid to a large agency), Pomplamoose’s Jack Conte (aka One Of The Two People Who Ruined Christmas 2010) writes, “we could have played a duo show instead of hiring six people to tour with us. That would have saved us over $50,000, but it was important at this stage in Pomplamoose’s career to put on a wild and crazy rock show.”.
I’m having a little difficulty figuring out by what possible measure Pomplamoose’s presentation could be considered wild or crazy (though if either are willing to emulate Alice Cooper and behead themselves via guilotine, I can see how that would be crowd-pleasing on some level). Coming in an era in which Quiet Company call their new album, ‘Transgressor’, I guess we’re seeing all sorts of radical redefinitions. But here’s the funniest part of Conte’s revelations :
Sponsorship from Lenovo. Thank goodness for Lenovo! They gave us three laptops (to run our light show) and a nice chunk of cash. We thanked them on stage for saving our asses and supporting indie music. Some people think of brand deals as “selling out.” My guess is that most of those people are hobby musicians, not making a living from their music, or they’re rich and famous musicians who don’t need the income.
I’m not sure who could possibly accuse Pomplamoose of “selling out”; presumably you’d have to stand for something (anything!) ; what’s to co-opt? Musicians or not, most reasonable persons understand that Lenovo would have to do a fuck of a lot more than give Pomplamoose a few thousand bucks to “save indie music”.
“If you are not a Dukie or you don’t love Duke or Christian Laettner,” says former Duke C Christian Laettner, “then I can understand the hating on me.” So when “30 For 30″ documentarian Rory Kapf approached the man considered by many to be the
biggest asshole in the history of team sports most despised college hoops player in modern times about cooperating with the upcoming, “I Still Hate Laettner”, the film’s subject was surprisingly receptive. From SI.com’s Richard Deitsch :
“This is something people don’t realize about me but I can laugh, and laugh at myself,” Laettner said in an interview with Sports Illustrated on Friday. “The very first time I saw an “I STILL HATE LAETTNER” t-shirt was six or seven years ago and I thought it was so funny that Kentucky fans were selling the shirts on stores around campus. So I pointed the shirt out to Rory and maybe he got the feeling then that, hey, Christian can laugh at himself, so that’s a storyline we can use in the film.
“When Rory told me they had decided to use that title, my first reaction was a little bit of a giggle because it was funny to me. Deep down in my heart I knew there was a chance it might be something along those lines. Then my second thought was I thought of my wife, my children [he has three], my parents, my siblings and everyone who loves me. I thought how maybe it could affect them the wrong way and I am sensitive to that. It brought a little sadness to my heart because I don’t want it to affect them negatively but overall I think they will understand it once they see the film.”
Laettner said he saw the 2013 Grantland poll where he was named the most hated college basketball in the last 30 years and called it, in part, a badge of honor.
The folks at Ebaum’s World consider the heavy security measures employed to prevent the shoplifting of the Just For Men product to the far right (above) an example of “Accidental Racism”. Maybe the real truth of the matter is that Walt “Clyde” Frazier’s fans of all races will go extreme lengths — including but not limited to stealing — in order to possess any item bearing the likeness of their guru.
Far be it for me to call Curt Schilling a shitty parent. But perhaps if he spent a little less time championing creationism / getting Keith Law suspended from Twitter and a little more time teaching his kids not to bring fake grenades onto fucking airplanes, our overworked Homeland Security might stand a fighting chance against the forces of evil
With all due respect to former Manhattan/Louisville G Chris Smith and the persons working hard to make Fightball a success, I will remain loyal to SLAMBALL until death.
At the conclusion of Thursday’s 5-2 home defeat of Tampa Bay, Toronto’s players neglected to salute those in attendance at the corner of Carlton and Church with a center ice display of upraised sticks. Quizzed afterwards by the Globe & Mail’s Darren Yourk, Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf insisted, “It was nothing against our fans. We respect our fans. We thank our fans for the great support we have. It was not supposed to be taken the way that it has been.”
Phaneuf confirmed that, yes, the players had decided as a team before the game to abandon the practice of skating to centre ice as group to raise their sticks to those who haven’t headed for the exits yet in a show of appreciation.
The explanation? The team was looking to change things up after a string of lacklustre performances on home ice and they will be sticking with it.
“We have great respect for our fans,” Phaneuf said. “We’ve got unbelievable fans and we know how much support we have. This, by no means, was any attack at our fans or anything personal. It was more about our team and changing up our routine.”
For some, the decision to not salute was interpreted as the players’s response to the recent trend of jerseys being tossed on the ice and the “Let’s go Raptors,” chant that started during Tuesday’s 9-2 drubbing by the Predators.
Phaneuf said the team realizes it’s a select few fans that have reacted in anger and apologized for how the incident has been interpreted.
Columbus D Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy this past October, which is a hell of a situation for a hockey player earning $15 million this season to find himself in. But as the Columbus Post-Dispatch’s Aaron Portlzine explains, things went a little haywire when upon signing a 7-year, $30.5 million pact with the Kings in 2011, Johnson signed power of attorney over to his mother, Tina.
Tina Johnson borrowed at least $15 million in her son’s name against his future earnings, sources told The Dispatch, taking out a series of high-interest loans — perhaps as many as 18 — from nonconventional lenders that resulted in a series of defaults.
Because Johnson’s name is on the loans, he has been sued at least three times for more than $6 million for defaulting, as in the case of the mortgage on a house in Manhattan Beach, Calif. In court documents, Johnson says his parents bought the house with his money but without his knowledge.
Johnson’s parents allegedly each bought a car, spent more than $800,000 on upgrades to the Manhattan Beach property and traveled, often to see him play NHL games for the Kings and Blue Jackets.
“Jack would ask (his parents) questions: ‘What’s this? What are these guys calling about?’??” a source said. “And they would tell him not to worry about it, just worry about playing hockey.
In his bankruptcy filing, Johnson claims assets of “less than $50,000” and debts of “more than $10 million,” although sources say the debt could be in the neighborhood of $15 million.
Tina Johnson’s cellphone number listed in court documents is no longer in service. Jack Johnson Sr. has not returned several messages left on his cellphone, and several of the lenders have no storefronts or business phones.
I think I speak for all right thinking Texas League (AA) fans (or at least those who attend 2 games a year) when I ask the San Antonio Missions, WHAT HAVE YOU SICK FUCKING BASTARDS DONE TO BALLAPENO?
While one observer marked Miami’s signing of Giancarlo Stanton to a 13-year, $325 million extension by recalling a time not so long ago when David Samson lectured another club about fiscal restraint, New Times’ Ryan Yousefi considers it cause for celebration, arguing that amongst other things, locking up Stanton will actually hasten owner Jeffrey Loria’s departure / windfall.
Once all the above things are done, Jeffrey Loria can sell the team and get the hell out of all of our lives.
Let’s be honest here, Loria is in it for the money. He doesn’t give a shit about Miami or baseball. This Stanton deal sets the wheels in motion for all the moves mentioned above, which in turn means Loria profits damn near one-billion dollars on a sale of the team. Who knows what a baseball team with a shiny new TV deal and a new stadium will be worth in seven years, but whatever it is, it will equal a huge profit for Loria, who bought the team for next to nothing compared to what it would be worth.
Signing Stanton is the first domino to fall in the end game that results in Jeffrey Loria skipping town will a Powerball like profit, and Miami should be OK with that. Loria will have left the team better off than he found it, and made himself a shitload of money — granted, much of it on the back of taxpayers thanks to the atrocious stadium deal.
Today was a huge day for baseball in Miami. It may have even saved it.
(above, Shitfucker, shown at their very successful audition for Carnival Cruise Lines)
I’ll admit I’ve not had a ton of time for SonicBids over the years, mostly because I’m totally allergic to any enterprise that wants to shackle the naive and gullible to some upwardly-mobile fantasy existence that’s really just another version of pay-to-play in disguise. My own health issues aide, SonicBids’ Shaine Freeman recently posed the question, “Is Your Band Name Killing Your Licensing Opportunities?”, an essay that if nothing else, should have members of the Bhopal Stiffs and Barney Rubble & The Cunt Stubble re-examining their priorities. Aside from claiming Toronto’s Fucked Up have missed out on “millions in licensing and corporate partnership revenues” over the years (why not say “billions” or “zillions” for all the hard research that went into this citation?), Freeman seems to be under the impression the sole reason one might form a band is to get paid.
Imagine if Coca-Cola had chose to name its beverage company Shitty-Cola in 1886 when the company was introduced to the public. During an era where profanity was deemed unacceptable, Coca-Cola’s founders would have offended their targeted consumers and likely went to jail for it. So, why any musician would choose to use profanity in the name of their business truly baffles me.
When I say the names Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, N.W.A., or Marilyn Manson, you instantly understand that major corporations will likely never partner with these artists. Two of them are associated with gangs, one is associated with a murderer, and all of them are associated with drugs. While these artists did find some commercial success, they never truly reached their earning potential while operating under those names.
Changing your band name can take a lot of work and will likely require the assistance of a publicist if you’ve established a large fanbase. But, it’s not impossible to make a successful transition from one name to another and keep your audience intact. One way to do this is by getting your fans involved in choosing a new name for your band. This way, they feel even more connected to the restructuring of your identity and will continue to be supportive of the new change.
Freeman makes an excellent point. It’s totally impossible to imagine, for instance, a major automotive campaign featuring Marilyn Manson…except it happened in 2009. And certainly, an association with NWA members Dr. Dre and Ice Cube would give pause to any mainstream commercial enterprise. Imagine how many more billions Apple would’ve paid for Beats were it not for this blot on Dre’s resume?
Of the Indians’ hopes of dumping 34 year-old 1B/RF Nick Swisher and the remaining 2 years/$30 million contractual commitment onto another club, Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra notes there’s other considerations at play. Namely, Swisher’s crucial role in selecting the Governor of Brohio.
Where would you trade Swisher anyway? BroYork? Broladelphia? Broakland? Chicagbro? To the Baltimore Broioles? If you’re doing a challenge trade that might work as the Indians could get Ubaldbro Jimenez back, but they let him go a year ago for pete’s sake.
At this point I think it’d be hard to move Swisher. Especially with that contract. Maybe if he waived the $30 million he was owed and requested free agency he could persuade a team in Bropan to sign him. Like, say, the Hiroshima Broyo Carp. Or the Brokohama Bay Stars
There’s another option, however. Swisher could leave the money on the table, retire, and work pro b(r)ono alongside former Philadelphia Record Exchange co-owner turned Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame CEO Greg Harris on the museum’s upcoming “HOSE BEFORE BRO’S” exhibit.
Who amongst us hasn’t attended a major sporting event and taken decisive steps to beat the traffic? Pittsburgh RB LeGarette Blount safely presumed he’d not be seeing any action in Monday night’s 27-24 comeback win at Tennessee, and made a rather conspicuous retreat to the locker room (and subsequently, the parking lot). Proving they’re every bit as sensitive as the so-called musicians I routinely walk out on, the Steelers waived Blount earlier today, a roster move chronicled with some lip-licking by the Post-Gazette’s Ray Fittipaldo :
“You know what, man, we have a good team,” said center and team captain Maurkice Pouncey. “If you don’t want to be here, don’t be here. At the end of the day you have your decision to make as a man, and he made it.”
Pouncey said Blount’s release was “a blessing in disguise.”
“We’re fine,” Pouncey said. “We have our starting running back. It’s probably a good thing that it happened. At the end of the day, if it was a cancer, he ended up leaving on his own. That’s a blessing for us. At the end of the day, we’re good. We don’t need him.”
Others echoed Pouncey’s sentiments. Star receiver Antonio Brown said the Steelers have a tradition to uphold and there is a “zero tolerance” policy for selfishness.
On his weekly radio show on 93.7 The Fan, quarterback and team captain Ben Roethlisberger said he did not want to rush to judgment on the situation and wanted to learn more facts. If true, however, he said “it is disturbing.”
Former Navy Seal Rob O’Neill, who seems to have a rather large stake in the public believing he’s the man that pulled the trigger on Osama Bin Laden, was invited to give Washington’s NFL franchise a pregame pep talk the afternoon prior to a 27-7 defeat at the hands of Tampa Bay. Writes DC Sports Bog’s Marissa Payne, “Is it brave to be a Navy SEAL? You bet. Is it also brave to be a Redskins fan? It certainly can feel that way sometimes.” (good fucking grief)
Perhaps O’Neill’s speech went something like this: “I permanently ended the nefarious doings of the world’s most elusive and wanted terrorist to benefit the whole of humanity. Now, can you just please squeak out a victory against the 1-8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers to salvage this pretty lackluster season? OK, then. USA! USA! USA!”
In all seriousness, though, the Redskins kind of owe O’Neill one (even more than the rest of us). He’s been flaunting his fandom for quite some time now, including in this anonymous March 2013 Esquire profile of O’Neill that my colleague Scott Allen found. Back then, O’Neill was known only as “the Shooter.”
“He had survived his last deployment, and there was a barbecue near his house to celebrate with about thirty close friends from ‘the community.’ The Redskins were on, his favorite team, and there was lots of Commando ale, brewed by a former SEAL.”
O’Neill also subliminally repped the team in his local paper, The Montana Standard, when they ran a profile on him and his involvement in other missions.
Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy (center) tells the New York Daily News’ Mitch Abramson, “things aren’t exactly well between myself and the NBA at this point.” Donaghy, he of the 2007 betting scandal that ended his officiating career, claims his pension’s been confiscated to reimburse the league for the costs of investigating his misdeeds, but what better way to make that money back in a hurry than by gambling legally? This might not be the endorsement NBA commissioner Adam Silver was waiting for, but Donaghy is an enthusiastic supporter of the former’s proposed move towards legalized hoops wagering.
Out of jail and in the sports gambling business, Donaghy says he would stand to profit if Silver gets his wish and sports gambling is made permissible in all states.
“Things will get that much better for my type of business if that happens,” Donaghy said in a phone interview with the Daily News on Friday. “It will get more people involved in gambling knowing that it’s legal and they don’t have to hide what they do.”
“I truly believe that at some point they’re going to have kiosks in every NBA arena, like they do at the airport when you get your boarding pass so you can bet on the games,” Donaghy said. “They’d be like the bookie (taking in) the rake. They have a game plan already laid out on how they’re going to capitalize on it.”
“It’s going to be regulated a lot tighter,” Donaghy said. “I know they would keep an eye on people within the inner circle — the players, the trainers, the referees, anyone who would have inside information.”
Venerable Williamsburg music space Death By Audio has hosted no shortage of CSTB faves old and new, and as the venue’s closing this week is a source of considerable grief for those of us who appreciated the hospitable venue nearly as much as the creative booking. Still, even with emotions running high, who’d have though a DBA regular would use the club’s demise as an excuse to take a cheap shot at 9 year MLB veteran Shane Spencer?
The above pic was swiped from Brooklyn Vegan, who report the offending graffiti was painted over.
Did the Royals learn absolutely nothing from the Mets’ Shake Shake Subterfuge? YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO POISON THE OPPOSITION, not your own fans.