Mushnick : Why Can’t My Kids Drop N-Bombs, Too?

Posted in Racism Corner, Sports Journalism at 7:46 pm by

Sportsmanship aside, the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick has a curious takeaway from Andrew Harrison’s ill-advised insult of Frank Kaminsky ; to wit, why aren’t white people allowed to utter equally offensive slurs?

It’s interesting that Kentucky coach John Calipari would explain and excuse his team’s postgame misconduct after their only loss as being representative of what “kids” do. Exactly. Black kids are now prompted, encouraged to profanity and to call one another “n—-r.” But I’m white, thus I can’t write that. That would make me a racist. It’s not about wrong or right; it’s about black or white. And that’s crazy.

Where were all the media-op activist black preachers, politicians and social police the last week, those who would allow “n—-r” to be resurrected among blacks, but only blacks? That’s not merely backwards, that’s crazy backwards!

Jesse Jackson still commands the respect and attention of our president and media despite calling New York “Hymietown.” But Donald Sterling, half-shot 80-year-old, is sentenced to hell by the same president and media after whispering a racist thought into the ear of his 30-year-old, see-through girlfriend.

It’s crazy. The N-word wasn’t allowed in my parents’ household, or in my household. But my daughters had it hammered into their ears by blacks. They came to figure that they shouldn’t use the N-word, not because it’s wrong — a slur above slurs — but because they’re white! That’s crazy, no?

Phil’s done a lot of remarkable things in his long career, but making Stephen A. Smith seem totally reasonable by comparison has to be very close to the top of the pile.

Clips’ Barnes : Without Your Hate, He’s Nothing

Posted in Basketball at 6:36 pm by

Chris Ballard’s Sports Illustrated profile of Matt Barnes received considerable notice for the Clippers forward’s comments concerning Kobe Bryant (and to some extent, for tales of Allen Iverson dropping $40K at a strip club), but of some import are Barnes’ attempts to manufacture motivation with the help online haters across the globe :

Sometimes, Barnes clicks on profiles, to see who’s dissing him. Sometimes he responds. Then he seeks out more insults. He admits this is a bit masochistic, but he fears that without sufficient anger he will lose his edge. And, to Barnes, that edge is everything. “That negativity is what keeps that chip on my shoulder, what makes me a dog, what makes me an a–hole on the court.” he says. And being an a–hole, he knows, is what’s kept him in the league. So he stores away the criticisms. Later, during the game, if he needs inspiration during a down moment, he cues up the hecklers in his head. “And then I’ll be like, ‘Lock back in, let’s go!’”

Barnes is so grateful for your disrespect that he even has a gesture planned. “If I ever win a ring, I’m going to get it sized for my middle finger,” he says. “To thank all the people who doubted me, because you guys are what drove me to my ultimate goal.”


Blyleven : Detroit’s A Rude, Ugly City. Other Than That, However, It’s Alright

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV, twitter twatter at 8:28 pm by

Fox Sports North analyst Bert Blyleven amused himself during a rain delay prior to Thursday’s Twins/Tigers tilt at Comerica Park by taking a couple of Twitter shots at the city of Detroit (“It is the best I have seen downtown Detroit though! Thank you low clouds!…guess I ruffled some feathers with my last tweet about download Detroit! Guess all you that responded haven’t seen how ugly your downtown is,”). Bert’s since deleted the offending remarks, but not before adding, “I apologize for my comments: the city of Detroit. It is an exciting time here led by the Ilitch family.”


Dolan : I Regret Calling An Elderly Knicks Fan A Hateful Mess (Even Though I Was Right)

Posted in Basketball, New York, New York at 10:33 pm by

James Dolan is hardly going to submit to a Q&A with the likes of Howard Beck or Frank Isola, but when Billboard Magazine’s Matthew Belloni wants to discuss the Cablevision CEO’s partnership with Irving Azoff, or the progress (?) of vanity project JD & The Straight Shot, guess who has all the time in the world? Alas, not all of the questions were of the soft toss variety, especially the inquiry into Dolan’s ill-advised handling of customer complaints :

Does it annoy you when people say you’re anti-union?

Yes. It’s a well-known tactic of some of these unions to personally go after the people who are running the companies. It doesn’t reflect well on them at all. We hold to our values, and when people want to cooperate and work together to build a business together, both do well. Just go talk to the guys at Local One or a lot of the other unions at Madison Square Garden. They all think they’re doing well. Radio City Music Hall — when we took over, there was one show there, the Christmas show. Maybe about five concerts a year. That place is humming, now. That means everybody who works there is going to be busy, and they’re almost all union people. One squeaky wheel does not make a bad train.

Someone said that during a negotiation, you got out your guitar and started playing a song called “Lockout Blues.” True?

That was during the NBA lockout. I was on the negotiating committee.

You’re paying Phil Jackson $12 million a year for five years. Still worth it?

You got to believe, baby! I believe, I believe! I enjoy being out of the limelight. I enjoy having two experts in there that I trust. I barely have to do a thing. It can stay like that for me forever. As long as we continue to make progress — and I’m sure we will. I believe!

What do you say to fans who want you to sell?

I don’t respond to people like that. I learned a lesson this year about that. I won’t do it again.

Yes, you emailed a fan and told him off and suggested he might be an alcoholic. Do you regret what you wrote?

I don’t believe what I said was wrong. I believe responding to him was wrong. I believe what I said was absolutely correct. But that’s the thing — why engage with people like that? That was a mistake.

For Serial Francesa Baiter Buchanan, This Is The Sports Radio Parody Equivalent Of Ted Williams’ Final AB

Posted in New York, New York, Sports Radio at 12:21 pm by

Earlier this week, of the retiring A.J. Lee, Booker T. made some reference to “going out on top”, which (aside from the WWE’s new “kill ‘em with kindness” approach) was only slightly less hysterical than claiming the disgruntled Lee had nothing left to achieve after a few years in the business. Conversely, amazing Mike Francesa Tribute Artist Bill Buchanan aka Mike Zaun, is absolutely at the top of his game presently. Though he’ll be missed, at least the real thing will continue to generate internet fodder.


Will Bynum’s Highlight Reel : The Most Impressive EPK This Side Of Danzig Talking About A Wolf Shaking A Baby

Posted in Basketball, Hip Hop at 6:56 pm by

PG Will Bynum recently signed a 10 day contract with Washington, and while it would be quite a stretch to claim the above video collection of Bynum’s recent Chinese Basketball Association exploits was what sealed the day, DC Sports Bog’s Clinton Yates found more to like than just ” people in matching shirts hitting thundersticks, military officers in hats and a Michael Beasley sighting.”

It’s three-plus minutes of up-and-under scoop shots, drive and dishes, pull-up threes and fantastic lob passes to Yi. This is what Kevin Hart thinks he looks like when he hoops it up.

What really sets the video off, though, is the soundtrack. The background beat is a song called “Onslaught 2? by Slaughterhouse from their self-titled debut album, featuring Fatman Scoop. This will mean nothing to you if you weren’t into a particular brand of hip-hop in 2009, but it was a mid-level hit, mainly gaining popularity for its earworm worthy production. If it hadn’t come up here, I probably would have never thought about that track ever again.


An Important Announcement From The Entertainment Division Of Cumbucket Media

Posted in 12XU, Air Traffic Controllers, Austin, Rock Und Roll at 5:31 pm by

Tomorrow night at Beerland :

FROM COLUMBUS, OH : it’s the first central TX appearance of the new look UNHOLY TWO, as well as their first foray in this territory since the release of 2014′s piledriver-onto-the-concrete, ‘Talk About Hardcore’. One esteemed Northeatern analyst opined, “In their utter barbarity, this band has found itself a workable, scalable truth, beats dents into it with a hammer, then beats them right back out. Unlike your car, or your penis, it starts the first time, every time.” Gratuitous sexism aside, I approve this message.

BURNT SKULL apparently have a new song or perhaps even new SONGS. This is undoubtedly BAD NEWS for the competition, though if they imagine this sales pitch being recited by Wayne “Bad News” Barrett, perhaps the announcement of their own obsolescence will at least seem more entertaining.

Austin guitar/drums duo INJURIES are putting the blood back in bludgeon. Their recent demo cassette on the hotter-than-shit Drug Front imprint was the recent toast of SXSW (and by that, I mean some dumb motherfucker left it on top of a plugged in toaster and now there’s melted plastic all over MY OTHERWISE SPOTLESS KITCHEN).

SPIDER SABICH features inept guitar wankery, an over-reliance on occasionally functioning delay pedals. an utter lack of beginning-middles-ends to alleged “compositions” and all the stage presence you’d associate with the late Darrell Porter kiting a check. It should go without saying that this “project” features a member of Air Traffic Controllers, but there you go. It’s been said!

Tori Hunter Couldn’t Be More Upset With Joe West Than If Cowboy Joe Tried To Officate A Gay Wedding

Posted in Baseball at 5:22 pm by

On the bright side, it seems the Twins veteran OF is on somewhat better terms with local members of the Fourth Estate.


Baseball & Mental Health : We’re A Long Way From Dr. Allen Lans

Posted in Baseball, Mental Health at 10:45 pm by

While the Red Sox have launched an in-house department of behavioral health (a little too late for the likes of Foulke, Lackey and Papelbon, don’t you think?), the Nationals have appointed Rick Ankiel as their new life skills coordinator, the sort of position that might been helpful for 5 year minor league vet Adrian Cardenas.  The 2B/LF, drafted 37th overall by Philadelphia in 2006, had the proverbial cup of coffee with the Cubs in 2012, but not before plenty of soul-searching about what threatened to become a somewhat joyless pursuit, one that Cardenas chronicles in part in this week’s New Yorker (“Ways To Stay Sane In Baseball”) (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory) :

Ankiel will use his first-hand experience with failure on and off the field to help mentor players in the Nationals system. He won’t replace a sports psychologist but rather will serve as a less formal outlet for coaches, managers, and players to vent. And yet, there will still be issues of trust and of showing weakness. While quitting in baseball is discussed among players, often disguised as empty rhetoric—“If I don’t start hitting the ball out there, I might as well just quit”—there can still be issues of trust and concerns about showing weakness, even for people with more promising careers than mine was. Shortly after his M.V.P. performance last year in the World Series, the San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner admitted that while in the minors, “I contemplated going home and not choosing to have this lifestyle.” During batting practice, he said, he’d stare at airplanes as they flew by, imagining himself in a seat. His mom, Debbie, said, “It was awful. He called all the time. He didn’t like baseball. He didn’t like nothing.” In the same interview, Bumgarner said, “I’ve never told anyone this story before,” but Bumgarner clearly talked to his mother; by “anyone” he was likely referring to anyone in a position to control his professional future.

I understand Bumgarner’s hesitation. In 2011, my .314 batting average in AAA led the team and I committed only nine errors all year. Still, I was not promoted to the major leagues when rosters expanded in September. From that point on I kept my mouth shut, no matter what mental struggles I was experiencing. There could have been a slew of reasons why I didn’t get the call up, of course, but I suspected that my quitting for a week the year before raised some red flags about my commitment to the game. In 2012, I made my major-league début; that was also the year that I walked away from the game for good.

A player is often aware of the possibility that a team employee—doctor or not—may divulge information to management that could put his job at risk. This “possibility problem” will not necessarily change overnight.


Shaq’s Legal Right To Publicly Ridicule Those Born With Serious Diseases Upheld

Posted in Basketball, The Law at 7:50 pm by

The Toronto Sun reports that TNT hoops analyst Shaquille O’Neal can celebrate the dismissal of a defamation lawsuit filed by a Michigan man who found himself the target of the 4-time NBA champ’s sophisticated sense of humor :

O’Neil  was slapped with legal papers last summer after allegedly mocking Jahmel Binion, who suffers from genetic disorder hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, on social media by making disparaging comments about his looks in a ’selfie’ he had posted online, which depicted the male with facial deformities, patchy hair growth and missing teeth, which are all symptoms of his rare condition.

O’Neal subsequently apologized to Binion after learning of his health woes, but it wasn’t enough and the disgruntled male demanded damages of $25,000.

However, the sports icon hit back, insisting there was nothing defamatory about his post as he only shared the image with the caption, “Smile today”. He also shot down Binion’s invasion of privacy claim because the picture was made public when he posted it on social media.

The case recently went before a Michigan judge, who chastised O’Neal for his “highly offensive” actions, but declined to take the suit any further as the defendant has no ties to the stat


Moreno Water Carrier : MLBPA Did Hamilton No Favors

Posted in Baseball at 10:30 pm by

Given that Josh Hamilton’s most recent substance relapse was self-reported, an independent arbitrator ruled Friday the embattled Angels outfielder would face no disciplinary measures, an edict which caused great discomfort amongst Hamilton’s employers. While writers ranging from Ken Rosenthal to an unusually reasonable Bill Plaschke took umbrage at the Angels’ public scolding of Hamilton following the ruling, the OC Register’s Todd Harmonson took an entirely different tact, instead blaming the Players Association for helping Hamilton avoid suspension.

Yes, the Players Association representatives technically did what they were supposed to do as advocates for a member, but did they really act in Hamilton’s best interests by keeping Manfred from doing anything?

Without an injury, Hamilton could be in the Angels clubhouse Friday – where his locker is being used by someone else in his absence – and subject to all the pressures of a new season.

His recovery from shoulder surgery only delays that, and without someone holding Hamilton accountable there’s nothing to make him seek the help he clearly needs. He already had backed off the use of personal accountability coaches because he thought he could handle his situation without someone by his side all the time.

Think dealing with the boos after striking out in the playoffs was tough? Try returning to face a hostile crowd that considers your contract one of the worst in baseball history.

And that’s at home.

Mike Francesa Has Accomplished What Fox Sports 1′s Expensive Launch Failed To Do…

Posted in Sports Radio, Sports TV at 1:39 pm by

…to wit, New York’s Number 1 has — perhaps unintentionally — caused some of us to actually remember the names of former TSN sportscasters Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole.


The Bay Area’s Housing Crunch Extends To DePaw University Grads

Posted in Baseball, Dogs, Real Estate at 10:26 pm by

A’s left-hander Sean Dolittle and girlfriend Eireann Dolan made headlines this week when the latter offered to purchase tickets from Oakland fans vowing to avoid the club’s upcoming LGBT Pride Night (June 17). This noble gesture overshadowed another, somewhat less crucial story regarding the couple, that being one in which they claim they were pressured to prepare a resume for their dog. SF Gate’s Chris Johnson explains what happened last February when Dolittle and Dolan attempted to sign a lease for a new apartment :

The catch was that the couple was required to write a resume for Stella, their loveable, friendly 5-year-old Rhodesian ridgeback. Nothing too complicated, the landlord assured them. He provided them with a three-page sample resume for dogs and a word of advice. “Think about it a little more in-depth than what you would do for yourself,” Dolan recalled.

That’s when Dolan’s wry sense of humor kicked in. She put together a tongue-in-cheek resume for Stella that hit all the high points, from her pedigree to her educational achievements. Stella’s college: DePaw University, Grades K through 9. Stella confirmed that she worked as a dog during the baseball season and continued her work as a dog in the off-season. She was also listed among Oakland’s Hella Well-Behaved and Quiet Dogs and her skill set included donning a trench coat and climbing atop another dog (not like that!) in order to walk in upright to a bank and apply for loans.

Apparently, Stella’s resume did little to impress management. The couple was denied an apartment. The official reason: their vehicle was five inches taller than the garage stall provided for it.

A Not Particularly Subtle Suggestion That Texas’ A.D. Is A Horrible Human Being

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts at 10:24 am by

(bum steer. and on the left, Bevo)

As Texas prepares to hire a men’s basketball coach who doesn’t resemble Scott Weiland to replace Rick Barnes, The Oregonian’s John Canzano — mindful of UT Athletic Director Steve Patterson’s miserable tenure as Portland Trailblazers club president (“he pretends to know where the money is buried. He grew up in arenas, learning how to work the room. The surprise is how woeful he is once he gets control of the room,”) — warns alleged target VCU’s Shaka Smart that perhaps he could, y’know, do better?

Patterson likes to take credit for the Trail Blazers “rebuild,” but anyone who was there knows better. During a four-year period beginning in 2003, Patterson fostered an unhealthy culture inside the organization, he fired more than 100 employees, he threw what was then the Rose Garden Arena into bankruptcy, cracked down on anyone who crossed him, and plotted from his president’s office to also become the team’s general manager (2006-07).

Remember the time Patterson fined Darius Miles $150,000 and publicly scolded the small forward for berating his coach in a film session? I do. So does then-coach Maurice Cheeks. Because that act of support for Cheeks was followed by a back-room deal between Patterson and Miles in which the small forward would receive every penny of the fine back, plus interest. When I informed Cheeks of the arrangement, he said, “I might as well pack my bags.”

In Patterson’s short time in Texas, he’s talked about playing football games in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. He ran off Mack Brown from the football program like a teenager who didn’t know how to break up with his girlfriend. Rick Barnes revealed this week that Patterson told him after his NCAA Tournament loss that he’d be back for another season, then shifted course, demanding that he fire assistants or be gone himself. Also, that tidbit was leaked, in a move that had familiar fingerprints all over it.


Zirin : When It Comes To Doing The Right Thing, Coach K’s No Dean Smith

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts at 9:05 pm by

Early Wednesday morning, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski declined an opportunity to comment on Indiana’s bonkers Religious Freedom Act, telling reporters, “when we get to Indiana, I’m not going to talk about social issues or poverty or anything else. I’m just going to talk about this Duke basketball team.” And while Krzyzewski would attach his name later in the day to a joint statement issued by all four 2015 Final Four head coaches, The Nation’s Dave Zirin would’ve preferred a more principled stance the first time around.

To be clear, I am not arguing that Mike Krzyzewski should come out and stand with the LGBT community, if that is not what he believes. The man is a longtime Republican donor who in 2002 deeply upset people in Durham when he held a fundraiser on campus at the Duke Inn and called his party Blue Devils for Dole. In other words, Coach K has a number of options for how he could respond to this mushrooming controversy. He could support the school that pays him an annual $10 million salary and stand with their statement. He could support the NCAA, an organization whose artificial restrictions of what his players can earn has made him an incredibly wealthy man. He could even join the many Republicans in the state of Indiana who oppose the law and make an “I Stand With NASCAR” joke. Or Coach K could take a deep breath, hike up his big boy pants and say, “You know what? Duke and the NCAA and NASCAR are wrong. I support this law because I believe in God, freedom, and heterosexual florists. Oh, and gay weddings are overrated, and it’s about damn time America woke up to that fact!”

But instead, Coach K, like a certain fellow Nike pitchman, just gave us his version of “Republicans buy sneakers too.” It also looks particularly weak in the aftermath of the passing of Coach K’s great rival, Dean Smith. The passionately principled Coach Smith would not have only spoken out against the law. He would be leading a delegation to the statehouse to confront Mike Pence in between practices, no matter how much backlash it would have meant for him back home in North Carolina.


Scarbinsky : Saban Failed To Show Up For A Teachable Moment

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 10:37 pm by

Alabama head coach Nick Saban faced the media Monday after S Geno Smith’s 2nd DUI bust in as many years and DT Jonathan Taylor’s 2nd domestic abuse charge in roughly the same span. Though Taylor was dismissed from the team Tuesday, AL.com’s Kevin Scarbinsky was unimpressed with Saban’s remarks, arguing the latter “spent far more time and energy defending himself, his decisions, his program and even his two players,” rather than addressing the real issues at hand.

He made sure to tell us that Geno Smith is a good person, despite his second DUI arrest in two years. Saban used those exact words to describe Jonathan Taylor – “I still think he’s a good person” – despite Taylor’s record of two domestic violence arrests in two different states while a member of two different SEC football programs in less than a year.

This is all Saban said about domestic violence during his 13 minutes at the podium:

“I certainly don’t condone that kind of behavior, especially when it comes to how females are treated. That’s something we try to create a lot of awareness for with our players. We would certainly be very cautious about any player that had any character problem but especially something like this would be something that we would be very careful about, you know, in the future.”

This is all he said about drunk driving:

“Rather than try to condemn Geno for what he did, which I don’t approve of, I don’t even drink so I don’t approve of driving and putting other people in danger when they’re drinking. So I don’t want you to think I’m condoning what he did. I don’t. We’re disappointed in it.”

It would’ve been encouraging to hear the angry Saban thunder away at the NCAA’s hypocrisy in accepting huge amounts of money from beer advertising during the NCAA Tournament while its schools battle the very real problems of underage and excessive drinking on college campuses.

Imagine the headlines today if Saban had attacked the issue of domestic violence with the same fire and fury he once turned on unscrupulous agents when he compared them to “pimps.”

Motivational Genius Fred Wilpon To Mets : Don’t Make Me Baseball’s Leon Hess

Posted in Baseball at 12:34 am by

(above : the young Fred Wilpon)

While citing the Mets’ Monday acquisitions of LHRP’s Alex Torres and Jerry Blevins, the New York Daily News’ Andy Martino takes issue with principal owner Fred Wilpon’s reticence — today’s clubhouse pep talk aside — to take the sort of high profile approach to public relations you might associate with, well, our friend Randy L. “Wilpon,” writes Martino, “speaks on the record roughly as often as Bob Dylan these days.” Though if you’re counting the Bard Of Hibbing, MN’s recent AARP interview and public remarks concerning Merle Haggard, it would be more correct to say Wilpon speaks on the record far less often than Bob Dylan.

“Fred has communicated that he’s going to be 79 this year, and he wants to see us win — now,” said one Mets person.

Added a longtime friend of Wilpon’s: “Fred isn’t going to stand for any more losing.”

This not-so-subtle pressure actually fits with the culture Sandy Alderson has tried to establish. Whether it was in privately discussing 90 wins last year, or talking big to the press this winter, the GM has been trying to sow a winning mentality around a team founded in Marv Throneberry punchlines. Alderson’s actions on Monday reflected that attitude, when he moved aggressively to fill a need by acquiring two lefty relievers.

On Monday, Mets people resisted the notion that Jeffrey Toobin’s New Yorker piece from 2011 begat an unofficial media embargo by Wilpon, saying there was no direct link. My own observation is that Wilpon is almost always pleasant, but approaches potential interviews in the same way that one might hop around a field of landmines.


Stubhub : Warriors, Ticketmaster Are In Monopolistic Cahoots

Posted in Basketball, The Law, The Marketplace at 3:27 pm by

Legalized scalpers Secondary market ticket sellers Stubhub is filing suit against Ticketmaster and the NBA’s Golden State franchise, alleging the pair’s exclusive partnership, constitutes “unfair and illegal anti-competitive business practices”.  From Venturebeat’s Paul Sawers :

As per the lawsuit, Ticketmaster and the Golden State Warriors cancelled fans’ season tickets and playoff-game tickets when they elected to use StubHub and “other competitive exchanges” to resell their tickets. “Ticketmaster and the Warriors’ front office broke the law by unlawfully threatening fans with cancellation to force them to use Ticketmaster’s resale exchange exclusively,” the complaint reads.

In effect, StubHub is accusing Ticketmaster of being monopolistic — and this isn’t the first time such accusations have been levied against Ticketmaster. Before its merger with venue operator Live Nation, many bodies voiced their concern that it would reduce competition, and also lead to Ticketmaster favoring Live Nation venues over ones that elect to use alternative ticketing companies. Such actions were forbidden, however, as part of the eventual green light this deal was given in 2010.


If The Callousness & Insensitivity Weren’t Bad Enough…

Posted in New York, New York, non-sporting journalism at 11:31 am by

….if you squint really hard, you can see Bobby Steele folding John Varatos tees in the background.


A Brutal Diss To Wrestling’s Most Impressive Record Holders (R.D. Evans Excepted)

Posted in History's Not Happening, Professional Wrestling at 7:53 pm by

WWE wasn’t sure what to do with him when he returned in 2012, but in the last year he has produced several memorable moments. At last year’s WrestleMania, Lesnar defeated the Undertaker – breaking the 21-0 streak that was the scripted sport’s one true record. It was probably the most shocking wrestling moment in many fans’ lives.

Dan McQuade, “WWE headliner Brock Lesnar is a true athlete”,The Guardian, 3/27/15

Putting aside for a moment whether or not the end of Taker’s streak was a more shocking moment than say, Chris Benoit’s double-murder/suicide or Owen Hart’s tragic death during a live PPV, was 21-0 really “the scripted sport’s one true record”? HOW SOON THEY FORGET BILL & RANDY MULKEY.


Video Footage Of One Of The Most Despised Figures Of The Last Century

Posted in Baseball, politics, Sports TV at 7:20 pm by

…and on the left, Richard M. Nixon.

Dime To Former Helicopter Spinner : Where’s Your God Now?

Posted in Basketball, Religion at 4:29 pm by

OK, OK, I realize that’s not really what Dime’s Jordan White had to say regarding former Warriors head coach Mark Jackson’s remarks, both recent and ancient, in which he claims he’s “praying for” others who’ve either done him dirty, or y’know, live openly as homosexuals.  In White’s view, Jackson should “save your prayers…no one asked for them, and no one needs them.”

“I’m praying for you.” Like religion, that phrase can be used in many ways. It can provide comfort to the mourning and bereaved, but it can also be condescending and spiteful. This isn’t “I’m praying for you guys to have success without me,” it’s “I’m praying for your soul because how dare you fire me, Mark Jackson, who Wasn’t Even Supposed To Be Here, who, despite having Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala couldn’t design a creative offense to save my life.”

Do not mistake Jackson’s comments as one of benevolence. Jackson’s true feelings rest in what is unsaid. He’s not praying for them the way one might pray for a sick friend or for guidance. He’s praying for them the way one prays for the damned — those who do not agree with his core beliefs. It’s at once petty, bigoted, hurtful and close-minded.

As it turns out, neither Jason Collins nor Joe Lacob needed Jackson’s prayers. Collins is seen, rightfully so, as a hero. Lacob, meanwhile, is the happy owner of the best team in the NBA, thanks in large part to a head coach who employs actual strategy to win games, rather than just cultivate an atmosphere of exclusion and a trite, “Us Against The World” mentality.


Assailant To Ex-Cards Outfielder : “Go Back To Ferguson”

Posted in Baseball, Racism Corner at 8:11 pm by

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Christine Byers reports former Cardinals OF Curt Ford was an assault victim last night at a Fenton, MO gas station.

“I’m going to let the authorities handle this situation, but I’ve had enough of St. Louis,” Ford said in a phone interview Thursday. “You hear about this kind of stuff happening, and I always knew it existed because of my previous experience working here in St. Louis, but you try to keep away from it, and there is just no way you can do that unless you stay inside like a hermit.

“I just want justice. It’s all I want.”

Ford, 54, said the experience has made him consider moving, even though, “I care a lot about St. Louis and I love the people here.” He added, “The people I have been involved with are all very positive and all they want to do is work and pay bills. There are very nice people here.”

St. Louis County police from the Fenton precinct arrested James Street, 37, of the 400 block of Saline Road, a white man who allegedly slugged the black former Cardinals player Wednesday after shouting racial slurs at him and telling him to “go back to Ferguson,” the Post-Dispatch has learned.

“I was sucker-punched, blindsided,” Ford said. “I was walking into the store and hit from my blind side.”

What Part Of “We’re Too Broke To Pay For Adequate Security” Don’t You Understand?

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York at 3:24 pm by

Budget cuts from 2009-2013 at Citi Field, aka Fred & Jeff Wilpon’s Monument To Avarice, Greed & Ruining David Wright’s Swing resulted in a 29 percent reduction in game day security personnel according to a report filed by 6 former Mets staffers. On the bright side, at least Fred Wilpon has proven himself impervious to post 9-11 paranoia. From DNAinfo’s James Fanelli :

“Due to the cut backs in the budget (2013) we will be unable to maintain the high quality of security that the ballplayers, guests and staff are accustom (sic) to,” a budget report reads. “In addition the greetings at the gates, exchange of pleasantries at the gates and along with the quailty (sic) of the seaching (sic) at the gates will be reduced.”

The axed event staff director, Bruce Smith, prepared the budget report for Robert Kasdon, the Mets vice president of security, according the legal filing. Smith oversaw security personnel and payroll.

The report points out in bullet form the repercussions of fewer security guards. It warns that “response time will be up,” that there will be “more alleracations (sic) with fans,” “more lawsuits,” “more complaints about service,” and that “searches will have to be cut back on to get fans in.”

The cuts also meant key sections of Citi Field would have fewer guards — and some would be completely unsupervised, according to the report.

“Beer garden cut one post which means one of the seating areas above the bullpens will be uncovered,” the report warns.

“Last year the the (sic) kids zone post was cut, where we are always getting calls there about adults staring at the kids,”
the report adds. “Any additional cuts will leave the smoking area uncovered which is a big area for fights.”

Clearly, the kids zone issue is a serious one, but if the Mets are hellbent on saving money, perhaps they could simply take away Paul Lo Duca’s comped tickets?


Popper Lobbying To Return Calipari To The Scene Of His Greatest Failure

Posted in Basketball at 8:49 pm by

No, not the Meadowlands parking lot, but rather the NBA franchise that represents the sole black eye (in terms of wins and losses, anyway) on his head coaching resume. In Wednesday’s Bergen Record, Steve Popper seriously suggests the best foot forward for the underachieving Brooklyn Nets would be to woo John Calipari away from Lexington, arguing the one-time Nets coach has little left to prove in the amateur ranks. More chillingly, Popper claims Calipari has remained buds with Brooklyn marketing maven Brett Yormark.

So consider this scenario — the Nets figure to have about $60 million in cap space in the summer of 2016, coinciding with a free agent market loaded with talent.

What would it take to draw Calipari from Kentucky back to save the Nets, to oversee a recruiting class on the NBA level? It’s easy to see how it benefits the Nets — an owner who promised a championship in a five-year timetable that expires at the end of this season given a star again, a second citizen in the New York market given a voice again. And for Calipari, coaching for a team in a large market with a deep-pocketed owner puts him squarely in the NBA game again.

For Prokhorov to make it happen, though, there is a path to clear. That would mean Hollins gets cut loose after one season (if it were to come this summer) or two, if they wanted to beat the free agent frenzy next summer.

To land Calipari it would likely mean that he is handed not only the coaching reins, but the keys to the franchise, too, the same ones they wouldn’t give Kidd. That means the sort of power that Stan Van Gundy got in Detroit, Flip Saunders in Minnesota and Doc Rivers with the Clippers.

It’s what Calipari has in Kentucky. It’s what sources close to him believe it would take to be the spot he will land. And all that Calipari could offer the Nets is everything they dreamed they could be.