Though the Knicks securing the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference might’ve been enough to take James Dolan off the CSTB shitlist, if only for a short while, Dolan has incredibly managed to usurp Joey Welz’no-doubt-forthcoming Boston Marathon song with the above cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac”.
Earlier this week, the New York Times’ Michael S. Schmidt reported Major League Baseball cut a check for documents from Miami wellness center Biogenesis that would implicate a number of players in what Miami New Times has suggested are rather obvious purchases of performance enhancing drugs. Though I took Schmidt’s claim that Alex Rodriguez (above, left) had designs on the very same documents as some hint of a bidding war, the Village Voice’s Allan Barra finds all of this a little, well, sleazy (“what kind of ‘businessman’ works as an intermediary between the investigative unit and the players under investigation by that unit? The only kind of businessmen I know who would do that are the kind of guys who are usually known by police by other kinds of names”). (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
Here’s one juicy scenario, suggested, of course, by the Daily News, about what might happen: “Rumors have spread through the league and its players that A-Rod possesses a list of names and documents that he has either leaked to the media to deflect attention to himself or destroyed them before anyone can see them.”
According to the source, Rodriguez “also knows all the players who are on the list.” Are we talking possible extortion here, or maybe A-Rod figuring that if he goes down, he’s going to take everyone else with him? The possibilities are fascinating.
I checked with my own source about those rumors and sources, and he told me that those rumors and sources all started with the Daily News.
When asked if OJ Mayo’s indifferent performances of late were a source of frustration, Dallas head coach Rick Carlise replied, “Well, the good news is there’s only an opportunity for one more.” And if that’s not an open invite for the 5th year shooting guard to opt out of his 2-year deal this summer, check out Carlise’s other remarks, as captured last night by the Dallas Morning News’ Brad Townsend :
After the Mavericks’ 103-97 loss to Memphis at American Airlines Center, Carlisle noted that “some guys didn’t show, literally.” Then he quickly zeroed in on Mayo.
Playing against a Memphis team that allowed him to leave in free agency last summer, Mayo contributed twice as many turnovers (four) as points while shooting 1-of-6 in 28 listless minutes of court time.
“He wasn’t into it the first half,” Carlisle said. “We showed him some film at halftime where he was virtually just standing around defensively. We said, ‘Hey, we need you,’ tried to get him going a little bit.
“He just had a bad night; I guess I will write it off to that. But I will tell you what, if I was playing against my former team, I’d come out ready to go at them. But that’s just me.”
Mayo hurriedly dressed and left the locker room before reporters were allowed in, exiting out a back door.
…though perhaps “desperate” or “pathetic” would be a better adjective in this case than “confusing”. I realize there’s some folks who want to keep print media alive, but this probably isn’t what they have in mind.
Perhaps there’s someone out there — members of their families? their agents? — who enjoys the baseball play-by-play announcing of Joe Buck or John Sterling. Prior to this moment, I’d not have made a similar guess regarding White Sox mouthpiece / umpire-baiter Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, but he’s apparently got a big friend in Chicago Side’s Jeff Polman, who declares, “when I have a ballgame on at home, there are only two announcers that entertain me every time: Vin Scully and Harrelson.” (link taken from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
Like literature, music, film, and art, baseball broadcasting is a matter of personal taste. This goes for the broadcaster’s voice, style, and level of class, but also for whether or not he/she satisfies the listener’s needs. Mine are simple and decidedly old school. If given no other choice I’ll listen to practically anybody, but to make me happy I ask for: 1.) A broadcaster who is engaged in every pitch, and 2.) A broadcaster with a voice that allows me to kick back with a cold one on a hot night and sink into the rhythm of the game.
Homerism? Shmomerism. WGN may be nationally syndicated, but there’s nothing in the rules that says a broadcaster for a local team needs to be objective. I’ve heard White Sox radio guy Ed Farmer (only occasionally, because I don’t care for his delivery), who is also a shameless homer. Harry Caray was a complete homer yet was totally beloved. Jack Brickhouse was even less objective than Harry and would yell like a banshee whenever a Cub went yard. So Hawk jokingly refers to the players on his field as “good guys” and “bad guys”, gets morose when the other team scores and this is somehow unforgivable? I don’t get it.
I want something different from a TV broadcaster. I want a good tour guide to entertain and educate me while I sit back and relax and enjoy the action.
Yes, you trade two prospects, even two great ones, for that guy. And you worry about building around him. Stanton by himself won’t lead the Mets to contention. Neither would Zack Wheeler and Travis d’Arnaud, even if they max out, by themselves. Build around Stanton, David Wright and Matt Harvey. In Stanton, the Mets would have one more sure thing, and one who is just 23 years old.
This is not a difficult question. And the Marlins might get more from another team, one who can match Wheeler/d’Arnaud at the top of a deal, and fill in with more talent that is closer to major league ready than the rest of the Mets farm system currently is. So sure, the Mets would do this. And who knows, maybe the Marlins would, too.
The Mets have plenty of difficult questions, such as who the fourth starter is, or the right fielder, or how much longer to give LaTroy Hawkins. Whether they’d trade virtually anyone for Stanton isn’t one of these worries. So don’t spend too much time worrying about whether the Mets should. The Mets certainly aren’t
The current’s Dodgers/Diamondbacks series was promoted by the hosts as “Beat LA Weekend”, a marketing scheme that if nothing else, seems to ignore the Giants’ status as defending champs. Arizona’s won a World Series far more recently than L.A., but it’s doubtful you’ll be hearing about a “Beat The D-Backs” promotion at Chavez Ravine anytime in the near future.
Perhaps with this manufactured rivalry in mind, last night Arizona owner Ken Kendrick (above, third from left) demanded that a group of Dodgers fans decked out in their club’s gear change their clothing or face ejection from a suite behind home plate at Chase Field. From The Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro :
The fans agreed, changing into Diamondbacks merchandise provided by the team, Diamondbacks spokesman Josh Rawitch said, adding that the fans would have been refunded had they chose to be relocated.
Rawitch said that because of the high visibility of the seats, the team has a policy forbidding fans from wearing opposing team’s gear before they purchase the suite, which ranges in price from $3,250 to $3,500 depending on the night.
“We don’t tell them they can’t cheer for the other team,” Rawitch said. “We just ask them to adhere to the policy that we give them when we sell them the tickets.”
Though the stadium was publicly funded, the Diamondbacks say they have the right to dictate what fans do and do not wear, just as teams can determine whether fans are allowed to bring signage into stadiums.
“It sounds kind of small-minded, but I would think they probably have the legal right to do that, especially if they let people know in advance that that’s the rule,” said Paul Bender, a professor of law at Arizona State.
“I hate to say that. I don’t like them doing that. And it’s conceivable if it’s treated as a city, state or county stadium that the rule would be different. But with what kind of clothes people wear, usually people who run the stadium are thought to have the right do that as long as they say in advance that those are the rules.”
At the end of his Saturday afternoon shift, Sheppard then announced he was quitting the station, saying that he couldn’t do it anymore, he couldn’t stand working for the company anymore. He said that he was upset at how things had been going at the station over the last 18 months, and that it wasn’t Jason Wolfe’s fault, but those above him. (Jeff Brown in particular) He said they would not even take his calls, and that he is going out on his own terms – unlike the last time he left the station.
Sheppard assured listeners they would be hearing him again elsewhere in the near future.
Unlike past WEEI incidents (Mike Adams “locking” himself in the studio to get the job) this one was quite real.
…in Georgia. I’m hardly objecting to Dr. K’s enthusiasm for the Mets’ phenom du jour, but surely Matt Harvey deserves a nickname of his own? A Reverse Anthony Young doesn’t have the right to it, so I’ll admit that perhaps neither I or Doc are the right persons to come up with this kind of thing.
Millwall’s 2-0 defeat to Wigan Athletic in the F.A. Cup semi-final at Wembley was marked by televised displays of violent unrest amongst the Southeastern London club’s fans. The Guardian’s Daniel Taylor reports that while the Millwall have promised lifetime bans for anyone found responsible, the Lions’ reputation will likely take yet another hit.
Fighting broke out during the second half behind the goal at the Millwall end and continued for at least 10 minutes. Police officers were not in the area at the time. When they arrived they were attacked and forced to retreat.
Television footage showed bloodied Millwall fans brawling with each other, one being stamped on and another with a police officer’s hat that had been knocked off during the trouble. A total of 10 people were arrested but the numbers involved were significantly more as the trouble spilled into the concourse behind the stand.
Television pictures also captured images of children in tears. “I am very sorry if that is the case,” Miwall manager Kenny Jackett said. “I am not doubting your word but until I see those images it is tough for me to comment.”
ESPN reported earlier today that Major League Baseball, rebuffed by Miami New Times, had chosen to “take an unprecedented step in the Biogenesis of America investigation,” paying a former employee of the notorious wellness clinic for documents linking MLB players to the purchase of performance enhancing drugs. Later in the day, the New York Times’ Michael S. Schmidt claimed MLB’s urgency was motivated in no small measure by a competing buyer for the same information.
Two sources said that the investigators were told by the ex-employees and others that documents said to be from the clinic had been put up for sale by various people and that Alex Rodriguez had arranged for an intermediary to purchase at least some of them.
That, in turn, led Major League Baseball to conclude that other players linked to the clinic would also attempt to buy documents to conceal incriminating evidence and accelerated baseball’s own efforts to purchase as many documents as it could.
A spokesman for Rodriguez denied on Friday that his client had arranged to acquire any documents.
Major League Baseball has concluded that Rodriguez bought such documents to keep investigators form obtaining them.
This is a necessary evil of the business, of course. The Knicks need frontcourt insurance and Thomas wouldn’t be available even if the Knicks reach the NBA Finals. With Thomas gone, 39-year-old Marcus Camby is now the second- oldest player on the roster behind Jason Kidd and the only active player from the Knicks team that reached the 1999 NBA Finals. Active in theory, that is. When Camby plays again is anyone’s guess.
The same can be said of Amar’e Stoudemire, who is recovering from his second knee surgery since October and is set to release a documentary called “Amar’e Stoudemire: In The Moment” on the eve of the postseason. His timing isn’t great. But think of it this way: the Knicks can always say Amar’e was running during the playoffs.
Glen Grunwald won’t be erring in releasing Thomas. The Knicks have to do something. Is it cold-blooded? Absolutely. But as they say in that famous movie about a family, “It’s business, nothing personal.”
That’s not to say Thomas’ exit couldn’t have been handled a bit better. When Thomas learned of his pending fate on Wednesday, he was asked not to speak to reporters. Imagine that. You’re being fired, your career may be over, you need surgery because you played hurt and now some insensitive former co-worker wants you to show a little loyalty.
Perhaps “dubious” or “ill-fated” would be a better word. Perhaps there is an individual willing to shell out $30 or more for a Nashville Pussy belt buckle in the year 2013, and if that is indeed the case, that’s all the more reason for eBay to keep details of these transactions VERY secret.
The Chicago Tribune’s Ameet Sachdev and Liam Ford report an unidentified person dropped off a goat’s head at Wrigley Field yesterday afternoon, with the package addressed to club owner Tom Ricketts. I’m almost 99% certain neither Ben Schwartz nor Ryne Sandberg were involved.
A man drove up to the ballpark around 2 p.m. Wednesday and handed a package to a security guard at Gate K, according to police and Cubs spokesman Julian Green.
The man asked the guard to deliver the package to Ricketts, then got back into his truck and drove away, police said. Security officials found the goat’s head inside. The head was all black and had a U.S. Department of Agriculture tag on its ear, police said.
The package did not contain a note and was never delivered to Ricketts, police said. The head was taken to the city’s Animal Control department, police said.
Police are investigating the “intimidating package,” Police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala said.
That Indians SP Carlos Carrasco was bounced for plunking the Yankees’ Kevin Youkilis last night immediately following the former serving up a big meatball to Robinson Cano, is not, in and of itself remarkable. That Carrasco’s ejection came after his first game since being suspended 2 years ago for drilling KC’s Billy Butler, however, is a little more noteworthy, as the Plan-Dealer’s Paul Hoynes details.
“I know it doesn’t look good,” said Carrasco. “I want to say I’m sorry. I didn’t want to hit anybody.”
Carrasco threw over Butler’s head on July 29, 2011 following a homer by Melky Cabrera and was hit with a six-game suspension. He made one more start that year before undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and missing all of last season. When this season began, the Indians put him on the 25-man roster so he could serve his suspension before returning to Class AAA Columbus.
When Scott Kazmir went down with a rib cage injury, Carrasco stayed in the big leagues so he could start Tuesday.
“I slipped (on the pitch that hit Youkilis),” said Carrasco. “That’s the truth. I was throwing 95 to 96 the whole game. I slipped and threw 90 mph.”
Said Youkilis: “When that comes after we score seven runs, it doesn’t look good. But I’m not here to decipher such things. I’m here to play baseball.”
More than a dozen players have worn the number 26 since Wade Boggs departed Boston for New York, and former Red Sox 3B Wade Boggs believes his 11 years at Fenway have earned him a jersey retirement ceremony. Unsurprisingly, the club disagrees, as the Boston Globe’s Stan Grossfeld explains :
The Red Sox, who inducted Boggs into their team Hall of Fame in 2004, won’t go the distance. “They told me there’s criteria,” Boggs said. “You have to end your career as a Red Sox.”
Boston fans still cringe at the indelible image of a giddy Boggs riding on horseback with a police officer at Yankee Stadium, an index finger jabbing skyward. Not exactly Carlton Fisk waving his 1975 World Series home run fair. But Fisk, who played more seasons for the White Sox than the Red Sox, eventually was hired back as a special assistant in Boston, and his No. 27 has been retired at Fenway.
“Mrs. Yawkey called me and Debbie over in the parking lot in 1991 after the last game,” said Boggs. “She said, ‘Wade I want you to follow in the same steps as Ted and Carl [Yastrzemski]. I want you to be a Red Sox for life.’
“I said, ‘Mrs. Yawkey, that would make me extremely happy.’ She said, ‘Would seven years, $35 million be adequate?’ I said, ‘I’ll sign it right now.’ But then she slips in the tub, she dies, and everything washes away.”
Do not talk to Buffalo co-captain Steve Ott about reverse psychology. The Sabres veteran C tells WGR 550 listeners, “if you want to see a bad product on the ice, continue to boo.” “Negativity breeds negativity,” argues Ott, who has clearly spent long hours studying Wreckage‘s recorded works.
“Its disheartening when we get hemmed in our zone and they’re basically mocking us” Ott said. “When you get up past the blue line and you finally get it in their zone after a minute and a half shift where they didn’t even have a scoring opportunity. I guess you can say it was more of the mocking of my teammates that probably pissed a lot of guys off including myself. You’re a fan of the Buffalo Sabres and hopefully, you come to cheer us on and motivate us. We’ve got a lot of young players on this team and they definitely don’t deserve to be booed. They deserve to have that excitement and energy. It’s definitely not their fault for the last six years of frustration thats gone on.”
It isn’t the first time the Sabres have been booed at home this season and Ott says he doesn’t see this happening elsewhere. “I think its completely ridiculous to be honest with you. We go into other buildings and we’ve won games and teams that should have the same amount of frustration, have sold out buildings and its funny because their(fans) continuing to cheer on their team, they stand behind their team and respect the work ethic.”
It would probably be an understatement to say there are mixed opinions about the right way to mark the passing of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. A vocal percentage of Liverpool supporters figure it’s a cause for celebration, though the BBC reports a pair of Premier League chairman would like to see soccer pay homage in a more formal fashion.
“It is not my decision, it is for the FA to decide, but I would be in favour of wearing an armband out of respect to Mrs Thatcher,” Wigan Chairman Dave Whelan said. “We have to say thank you very much for the services the former PM has given us.”
And Reading chairman Madejski told BBC Radio 5 live: “We have got to appreciate that Margaret Thatcher was a world leader who did so much for this country. So much that she deserves a minute’s silence.
“The funeral’s going to take place at St Paul’s attended by the Queen and Prince Philip so I think it would be a fitting tribute from the world of football to Margaret Thatcher, one of our greatest leaders.”
However Reading later said they were already planning to hold a minute’s silence before Saturday’s home fixture against Liverpool – to mark the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
A club spokesman said: “With the game falling two days before the 24th anniversary of the tragedy, plans began last week for a fitting tribute to the 96 supporters who lost their lives. The Royals contacted Liverpool FC and spoke to the Premier League earlier today and they of course agreed it was absolutely correct to pay respect on such an occasion.”
Shortly after being interviewed by reporters at the Miami home opener last night, Dan Barton (above) — who’d bragged within earshot of Miami-Dade police officers of buying tickets in the parking lot to avoid lining Jeffrey Loria’s pockets —- found himself and pals persona non grata at Marlins Park. From the Palm Beach Post’s Joe Capozzi :
“They kicked us out. We didn’t even make it to our seats,’’ Barton said in a phone interview as they drove back to Fort Lauderdale. He claimed that one officer told them their sign was blocking the view of other fans. “My friend offered to turn his shirt inside out and they said no,’’ Barton said. He also said an officer asked them to wait for a Marlins representative, but no representative showed up. “We asked police what we were doing wrong. And he said, ‘They want you to leave.’’ By ‘they,’ Barton assumed the officer was referring to the Marlins. After the game, team president David Samson addressed the incident. “We got information from the police that they’d run into a couple of fans who were walking around holding signs that were fine. That was not the issue. They were drawing some attention to themselves. Making some noise later in the game, which is not uncommon,’’ Samson said. “As per standard operating procedure, the police go up, try to tell them to calm down and they did not. Then the police said, ‘Show me ID’ and they did not. And that was it. You have to show ID when asked. So they were ejected.“
Formerly Chelsea chairman Ken Bates — currently ensconced at Leeds F.C. —- has faced charges over the last few years he’s used the latter club’s match day program and in-house TV channel as a bully pulpit from which he can extract a measure of revenge against former employees and critics. On Monday, Ofcom, Britains’s independent regulator for the UK communications industries, cited Bates’ “unfair treatment and unwarranted infringement of privacy” in his war of words with the Leeds United Supporter’s Trust. From the Guardian’s James Riach :
The trust’s chairman, Gary Cooper, has called on the Football Association to “hold Bates accountable” after an Ofcom report found he used his position as the Leeds chairman to access computer files and broadcast private information through the club’s in-house station Yorkshire Radio.
Ofcom, the independent regulator for the UK communications industry, found that two separate interviews with Bates, broadcast in February 2012, “were likely to have materially or adversely affected listeners’ views of Mr Cooper” and that “Mr Cooper’s privacy was unwarrantably infringed”.
A disrepute charge against Bates has been held in abeyance by the FA since August last year and Cooper, who has demanded a full apology, believes Bates has manipulated his authority as club chairman. The charge is being held in abeyance owing to a court case that Bates is bringing against the former Leeds director Melvyn Levi.
Bates was ordered to pay damages to Levi in a separate case last year when he was found to have harassed the former director through his match-day programme notes and Yorkshire Radio.