At the risk of irritating the Braves’ marketing suits, who would prefer you focus on their new mutant food creations, magnetic schedule giveaways and fond reminders (corporate euphemism) of this being their final season at Turner Field, here’s your reality check.
This team stinks. No, I mean it really stinks — way worse than most even expected it to stink, which means sportsbooks’ dire projections of 66 to 67 wins is starting to look optimistic. The Braves hadn’t started 0-5 since the 1988 season, when they opened 0-10 on the way to going 54-106.
Centerfielder and leadoff hitter Ender Inciarte, whose entire game depends on his speed, went on the disabled list Sunday with a wonky hamstring. Reliever Dan Winkler, another of the Braves’ post-Tommy John reclamation projects, dropped to his knees in pain in the seventh inning after suffering a right elbow fracture while delivering a pitch.
In another move, the Braves shipped the remains of reliever John Gant (four runs, six hits, two homers, several dreams crushed, in three innings) to Triple A Gwinnett before the game. So before opening a seven-game trip at Washington Monday night, the Braves’ roster will include three new players who weren’t considered good enough to make them out of spring training.
They return home April 19. There are tickets available. Also roster spots.
When the ECHL’s New Orleans Brass were launched in 1997, it was a big deal, not only in a city where ice – other than in sweet tea – is rare, but also in the African-American community, where interest in the sport is, unfortunately, also rare. As a franchise majority-owned by an African-American investment group – one that included New Orleans ex-mayor Ray Nagin – the Brass were billed as a landmark development in black business circles, garnering an article in the March 1998 issue of Black Enterprise.
Other partners in the ownership group included attorney Roy Rodney and political insider and entrepreneur Stan ‘Pampy’ Barre. Behind the scenes, the Brass were additionally funded by silent partner John Georges, a self-made multi-millionaire of Greek-American ancestry.
The Brass were a bold business venture as well since the Crescent City had little knowledge of hockey. In fact, when New Orleans Times-Picayune reporter Peter Barrouquere was given the Brass beat, he was a novice to hockey. “I had seen four hockey games,” Barrouquere said. “I didn’t really know about it.”
But Barrouquere learned quickly, as did a sizeable chunk of the New Orleans sports fans. The team built a base of hardcore devotees who came in thousands to watch games at the Municipal Auditorium. The squad also found a fair amount of success on the ice, making the ECHL playoffs each of its five seasons, advancing to the third round in 1999 with a physical style of play that appealed to patrons who love New Orleans Saints football.
The team moved to the New Orleans Arena in 1999, but when the NBA’s Hornets arrived in 2002, the Brass became second fiddle. The costs of transforming the building’s floor from hardwood to ice and back proved too steep and the Brass failed to negotiate a long-term lease at the Auditorium, leaving the franchise without a place to play. Despite financial and on-ice success, the team had to fold.
Now, 10 years later, three of its former investors have run into trouble with federal authorities. In July 2008, Barre was sentenced to five years in prison for skimming more than $1 million from a city energy contract. A month later, Rodney got four months in the clink for failing to file tax returns, a charge that surfaced during investigations of the administration of then-mayor Marc Morial.
Nagin, meantime, who gained global recognition for his reaction to the Hurricane Katrina crisis, is now being investigated by a grand jury probing alleged gratuities he received from city vendors. – Ryan Whirty, The Hockey News, August 8, 2012
Greetings, members of the Yankee Universe and those slovenly, no-hopers with zero chance of ever entering its ranks. Nice 0-2 start to the 2016 season for that craven beaner-of-Yankees, Matt Harvey. I know, I know, “small sample size”, but let’s face it, Harvey’s already on the downside of his underachieving career and we’ve got our sights set on members of the Mets rotation who are proven winners. LIKE ME.
The deep irony here is that while Oliver is making a knee-jerk appeal to Bernie Sanders acolytes who are hoping for a future where you pay NOTHING for anything of value, his employer, Home Box Office continues to charge an arm and a leg for substandard programming. How’d that second season of “True Detective” turn out? Serious question, I don’t know a single person who got thru the entire thing. How about the train wreck that is Martin Scorcese & Mick Jagger’s “Vinyl”? How do you put a thoroughly washed-up, completely out of touch relic like Jagger in charge of the musical contents when The National’s Matt Berninger is available the entire time? I realize this blog’s readers, most of whom are either still paying off student loans or continuing to sponge off parents (who are well advised to consider faking their own deaths and skipping town), believe our premium seats are unfairly priced, but let me ask you which is the greater economic travesty, $1600 to watch the 27-time World Champion New York Yankees or $55 a month to watch Lena Dunham run around naked? YEAH, I THOUGHT SO.
For the few of you who can can afford both the YES Network and additional pay cable channels, I would wholeheartedly recommend Showtime over HBO. For starters, they’re not the ones who’ve given a platform to John Oliver, but more importantly, Showtime is the home of my favorite serial drama, “Ray Donovan”. Maybe it’s not for everyone, but I remain impressed at the way the show’s creators are careful to depict every single person with a Boston accent as a lying, thieving, murderous thug. Scumbags, every single one of ‘em. So big, big points for realism.
“Bomani Jones couldn’t have been a more perfect spokesman for the intent of the shirt,” Kirby says. “It’s not an angry thing, it’s more about making a point in a humorous way. It’s just holding up a mirror saying, ‘Hey, I’m wearing this and you’re broadcasting Indians games with the same kind of imagery. Why is this a problem and that not a problem?’ It’s about flipping the image on it.”
The ‘Caucasians’ shirt has gone viral before, including one day in 2014 when it was the No. 1 trending item on Reddit after a DJ for the Canadian-based electronic group A Tribe Called Red took to wearing it. But Kirby says his startup, which he runs out of basement with his wife when he’s not working as a digital marketer, has never received as much attention as it did Thursday.
Within 24 hours of Jones wearing the shirt, Kirby estimates he made 2,000 additional sales. Shelf Life Clothing’s website also crashed, because its hosting company couldn’t handle the onslaught of traffic and subsequently dropped it as a client. As of Friday evening, the site was still not fully restored.
Whether you’re a Kiss Kompletist or simply fascinated with the career arc of one-time Ace Frehley replacement Vinnie Vincent, recent entries at the Bobby Rock Blog — memoirs of ex-Vinnie Vincent Invasion drummer, Bobby Rock — are a must read, particularly the extensive descriptions of the hellish attempts to measure up to Vincent’s version of click-track perfection. Still, after characterizing Vincent as an exacting taskmaster with few social skills, Rock is hardly unsympathetic, insisting, “I’m the better musician for having endured the rigors of those sessions.”
How about some kind of OCD type vibe as an explanation? Nowadays, we think nothing of diagnosing folks with some form of this. But back then, it wasn’t largely talked about, and we were all far less familiar with it. One could make a case that Vinnie’s behavior had all the classic symptoms. It’s like the guy who can’t leave his house until he knows that all the soup cans are facing label-out in the pantry… and then he has trouble leaving the house without going back and checking on the soup cans multiple times before he actually leaves. Here, Vinnie appeared to have an obsession with the tracks being perfect against the machine, and I know there are maybe a few “behind the scenes” things that a few of us there were privy to that might support this case.
The man was simply a perfectionist who was trying to create an oil painting with watercolors. He was wanting to hear these triggered, programmed-sounding Mutt Lange-style drums du jour, when we were set up to deliver more of a classic, raw, acoustic-drums-in-a-big-room-with-a-live-drummer-bashing kind of thing. But… none of us really knew this at the time.
Consider the context. Up until the early 80s, virtually everything had live drums on it. Pop, rock, soul, even disco. But Vinnie was someone who liked all kinds of music, and I knew he listened to a lot of the standard pop stuff from the mid-80s, as well. (Forever a student of good songwriting, no matter the genre.) At the same time, Vinnie was a serious player, and he appreciated serious musicianship. So I think Vinnie was having trouble finding a balance between these two opposing concepts: he loved the modern, rock-solid, big drum approach of either programmed or programmed-sounding drums; but he also loved a drummer who could play a bunch of crazy shit, as well. So these sessions were largely about Vinnie trying to reconcile these two concepts… without really knowing he was trying to reconcile them.
A final question I get from time to time: Would I ever work with Vinnie Vincent again? My answer? A few prerequisite inquiries aside… hell yes. Vinnie Vincent is a bad motherfucker, and truly bad motherfuckers are almost as extinct these days as the main man himself.
The secret behind the vast fortune of former WWE fixture turned Sirius Outlaw Country host James Morris (aka Hillbilly Jim) is finally revealed. I’m as surprised as the rest of you ; it’s not like he was spending the money on clothes.
Each pill had its own name. The five-milligram amphetamines were known as white crosses—and these were passed around like candy, if that was your bag. The heavier doses were black beauties. Remember, this was well before the common use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs; in many ways, you could make an argument that the drugs of choice in our clubhouse were more performance reducing than anything else. But most starting pitchers were loath to mess with any chemicals that might mess with their mind-set—anyway, I was. You’ve got all that time between starts, the last thing you want is to be anxious and on the edge for four days; if anything, you want something to take the edge off.
Still, the jar was very much in evidence, very much a part of our team “chemistry,” even though the jar itself had disappeared by the 1986 season. We continued to use the same language, though, so you could still hear the terminology on the team plane and in the clubhouse, but the pill-taking became much more secretive. You either understood the euphemism—or you didn’t, because it didn’t apply. It was no longer out in the open. The talk went underground, but even there you’d continue to hear comments like, “Hey, I did a couple of white crosses but that didn’t do it so I threw a black beauty on top and it was perfect.” You’d see guys toward the end of a game, maybe getting ready for their final at bat, double-back into the locker room to chug a beer to “re-kick the bean” so they could step to the plate completely wired and focused and dialed in. They had it down to a science, with precision timing. They’d do that thing where you poke a hole in the can so the beer would flow shotgun-style. They’d time it so that they were due to hit third or fourth that inning, and in their minds that rush of beer would kind of jump-start the amphetamines and get back to how they were feeling early on in the game—pumped, jacked, good to go. How they came up with this recipe, this ritual, I’ll never know, but it seemed to do the trick; they’d get this rush of confidence that was through the roof and step to the plate like the world-beaters they were born to be.
“You become a millionaire overnight and you don’t know what do with it. We don’t understand taxes. We don’t understand lifestyles. We create a big expensive lifestyle for ourselves… I had some fetishes that I liked, materialistic things… and then obviously you get into an investment world that you don’t know about, that you don’t learn about in college and you put your money in the hands of other people that try to take care of it,” he said.
While the NBA does give its rookie players a “crash course” on finances, Walker said it needs to do more. That’s why he’s teaming up with Morgan Stanley Global Sports & Entertainment (MS) to help educate student athletes on their finances.
Prior to the extended dejá-vu session that saw the New York Mets lose their 2016 season opener to Kansas City (with a Yeonis Cespedes error taking center stage), the hosts raised their World Series championship banner in a pregame ceremony the ever-sportsmanlike Ned Yost called, “awkward”. Were the clubs’ roles reversed, however, Metsradamus is adamant that when and if it comes time for the Mets to commemorate a title, he’ll leave no stone unturned :
Hell, I’ll go as far as to say this: If the Mets are fortunate enough to be celebrating this next year, I want to go all out. I want the banner raising on Opening Day, and then I want separate ring ceremonies for every player individually to be spread out through the end of July. Players, coaches, trainers, Bobby Bonilla since he’s still on the payroll, everyone gets a ceremony. And these ceremonies are to take place against division rivals, and whatever team Chase Utley is playing with in 2017. And if he’s retired, then the ring ceremony takes place at his house. Because fuck Chase Utley through his pee hole with a saw.
I’m pretty into the idea of awarding rings to any number of persons connected with the franchise, past and present, but I absolutely draw the line at Chris Cotter.
Eric Hosmer’s fateful decision to try and score from 3rd on an infield grounder in the 9th inning of last November’s World Series Game 5 worked out splendidly for the eventual champion Royals, not nearly so well for Mets 1B Lucas Duda, whose wild throw evaded the grasp of Travis D’Arnaud. Fast forward to Opening Night in Kansas City, and Duda — while owning the error — has heard just enough about the play from Royals 3B coach Rusty Kuntz. From Newsday’s Marc Carig :
“I read something from Kuntz, the third-base coach,” Duda said of the Royals’ first-base coach. “He said ‘we’ve got this guy as a DH,’ and again, that’s an opinion. But it’s somebody to me that really doesn’t matter. How many big-league games has that guy played in?”
The answer is that before becoming a well-respected coach, Kuntz played 277 games in parts of seven seasons with three different big-league teams. To Duda, the point still stands.
“That opinion has no substance,” he said. “It’s a guy talking that coaches third base.”
“He gave it to me pretty good,” Duda said, once again seizing upon Kuntz’s comments. “It’s his opinion, man. If he thinks I’m a [expletive] first baseman, then it’s OK.”
(Phil should be pleased to learn the above garment is currently available on eBay for a mere $8.99)
In today’s New York Post, resident sports media conscience Phil Mushnick takes the opportunity of this weekend’s Final Four to lay into Syracuse and North Carolina head coaches Jim Boeheim and Roy Williams, but not before offering the following introduction / context :
Been singing it to myself all week. It’s a mournful, hopeless Neil Young dirge with the refrain, “It doesn’t matter.”
Several years ago we bought expensive tickets to a Young concert only to be surprised and disappointed that nearly the entire show was devoted to new songs with a repetitive theme: the shameful greed of corporate America.
At the same venue, there were kiosks hawking official Neil Young T-shirts. For $45. Hmm.
See? It doesn’t matter what the matter is; it doesn’t matter.
Phil may or may not be aware that typically, large venues (many of which are owned by, y’know, corporations) command a rather robust percentage of an artist’s merchandise cut. So while it would be somewhat hysterical to start a GoFundMe for Neil Young anytime soon, there’s nothing hypocritical or ironic whatsoever about his singing about corporate greed. He experiences it firsthand!
Lifelong Swindon Town fan Sam Morshead grew up to cover the club for the Swindon Advertiser and the Daily Mail ; in Thursday’s Guardian, he explains how this nasty sports journalism stuff has essentially ruined following The Robins (“following the 2013 takeover of the club, the boardroom has been dominated by hearsay, scandal, infighting and uncertainty…now the stroll to the stadium was just a walk to work”).
For months, embedded reporters had to handpick reality from make-believe on a daily basis. Many of us were fans and I felt envious of those who were not. Two warring owners threw loose accusations at one another with increasing regularity. Some allegations were made public and supporters had to watch their club tugged around like a scraggy rope in the High Court. My job was to watch the entire episode through a microscope, poring over the tiny details.
Had it been another industry or even another team in the Football League, it would have been fascinating. The stories at hand were the kind that journalists delight in – the intrigue, the dirt, the mystery – but this was my club. I wanted to look on it with childish enthusiasm and to be in the away end at Elland Road, jumping into a stranger’s arms as Charlie Austin scored the third goal in a 3-0 win. Instead, I was fielding questions about the insolvency history of Swindon’s majority shareholder
I miss having to restrain my emotions in the press box when Swindon score; recently they recovered from 3-1 down to beat Crewe 4-3 and I caught myself groaning about the resultant 91st-minute rewrite. I no longer walk into the concourse and feel at home; I’ve been banned, ostracised and accused of lying on multiple occasions by the current owner and now play the role of “unwanted guest number one” on matchdays.
In the days before Steph Curry and the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors were nothing short of a global pop culture phenomenon, the franchise’s ownership struggled to galvanize the attention of hoops casuals (losing nearly 300 games in 5 seasons, punctuated with Latrell Sprewell strangling P.J. Carelismo didn’t help). Displaced to San Jose for the 1996-97 season, the Warriors canned incumbent mascost Berserker (the David Yow theme didn’t really translate to Northern California) and replaced him with Thunder, in the form of gymnast/trampoline dunker Sadaki Fuller. Strolling down memory lane with the New York Times’ Scot Cacciola, Fuller explains the pitfalls of showing some initiative upon accepting the position :
Fuller felt obliged to help sell people on the team, he said, because the Warriors were not — how to put this mildly? — setting the region ablaze. He recalled running into the lobby of a bank near the team’s offices — in full costume, no less. That alone was a startling sight, and then Fuller opened his mouth and said, “This is a stickup!”
Nobody making a deposit that day recognized Thunder as an N.B.A. mascot. Most were under the impression that a less-than-sane person in a superhero outfit was attempting to rob the bank until Fuller backflipped out of the lobby while shouting, “Go Warriors!”
When Fuller returned to the team’s headquarters, he was met by several members of the team’s front office. They had received word of his marketing ploy.
“They were like, ‘Listen, it’s great that you’re doing everything with so much enthusiasm, but you can’t run into banks,’ ” Fuller said. “I was young. I didn’t get it.”
… but it clearly doesn’t hurt. KFNS’ Dino Costa would have you believe he’s bulletproof. In defending the leap of faith made by boss/benefactor Randy Markel of Chuck’s Boots, Costa points out that Markel previously hired Michael Brown’s shooter, former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.
“When Daily Mail Online visited a pile of Confederate Flag bandanas lay on the counter by the till.”
“Chuck’s Boots owner Randy Markel did not return a message asking for comment.”
So all things considered, I do sorta see where Dino’s coming from. If Markel suffered little or no embarrassment from being associated with Darren Wilson (or selling Confederate paraphernalia), what possible harm can come from Costa preaching to a couple of hundred simpletons at 6am in the nation’s 21st media market?
That’s why it’s necessary for Bonkers to troll the planet with predictable clickbait like “keep sports radio all-male” (and if Costa is indeed, 590 The Fan’s Program Director, this is essentially an open admission that he’d use gender to determine hiring). He’s well aware that such calculated stunts are recirculated via outlets with far greater reach than he or Markel can muster. That somebody out there actually eats this shit up — possibly an parent quick to let their unfortunate kids know that gender determines the full extent of what they can or cannot do in this world — is of zero consequence to Bonkers. However much contempt he has for so-called liberals, he’s also demonstrated zero respect for his dopey acolytes or the unlucky communities he broadcasts to (you’ll note I’ve not said “broadcasts in” because while Screamo is happy to attend St. Louis Blues games, he’s yet to lower himself to actually residing in the town he claims to be saving).
In short, he’s as sickening, duplicitous and cynical a mercenary as you’ll find in media, sports or otherwise. In turn, Randy Markel seems to fancy himself some sort of guardian angel for people who’ve more than earned their pariah status.
As you’ve probably heard else, an overnight health scare of epic proportions for Matt Harvey turned out to be a mere bladder condition caused by the Mets starter’s heroic refusal to use the men’s toilets at Port St. Lucie’s Tradition Field until the state of Florida makes ‘em all gender neutral. Since Harvey’s a quiet, unassuming guy who shuns the spotlight, Jay Horowitz came up with a crazy story about NYC’s most eligible bachelor simply holding it in too long, and regrettably, the Wall St. Journal’s Andrew Beaton bought it, hook, line and sinker.
“The main issue is I hold my urine in for too long instead of peeing regularly,” said Harvey, adding that he underwent a procedure to ensure everything was clear, and that he will indeed make his scheduled opening-day start in Kansas City.
There are many potential causes for blood in the urine said Dr. Ash Tewari, the Chair of Urology for the Mount Sinai Health System. They can start in many places—the urethra, prostate, bladder and kidneys—and may be triggered by an infection, stones, or in the unlikeliest of cases, some form of cancer.
Infection, said Dr. Tewari, is the most common reason for having a clot. And yes, holding it can be a factor: The longer the urine is in one’s system, the longer bacteria it contains has a chance to infect.
“Think about a pond versus a stream,” Dr. Tewari said. “A stream is less likely to have an infection, but a pond is more likely.”
I’d like to presume this blog’s readership requires little introduction to Bill Walton, certainly one of the most dominant college basketball players in the game’s history, and an at times polarizing figure in post-Watergate America whose injury-plagued NBA tenure is agonizing to recount. In Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, Sam Anderson takes the occasion of the publication of Walton’s “Back From the Dead: Searching for the Sound, Shining the Light and Throwing It Down” to quiz the self-proclaimed “most-injured athlete in the history of sports” on a variety of topics. For those who’ve followed Walton on and off-the-court, it will come as no surprise that the Grateful Dead figure strongly in Anderson’s excellent article.
Walton and I spent much of our time together in his car, listening to the Grateful Dead on our way to and from San Diego’s most scenic vistas. Walton knew every song that came on. Several times, he got excited because the music seemed to be speaking directly to us. Once, for instance, when we were talking about Larry Bird, the Dead sang the words “leader of the band,” and Walton said: “See, that’s exactly what Larry was: the leader of the band.” It became increasingly clear that the Grateful Dead was an omnipresent scripture rolling through Walton’s mind.
On our second morning together, driving downtown, Walton and I hit a particularly good patch of Dead. The jam grew and broke into multiple subjams, which wove themselves back together into something bigger and then bounced around. This made Walton genuinely happy. He turned the volume up, then turned it up some more, until the music was the only thing in the car. Even when we reached our destination, when Walton pulled to the curb and the valet-parking attendant came over to take the keys, Walton couldn’t bring himself to leave: The flow was too strong. Interrupting it would have been sacrilege, so he waved the parking attendant away and turned the music up even louder.
Walton and I sat there for several minutes, not moving, at the curb, inside the music. Occasionally, he would shout out some ecstatic explication —“That’s Phil Lesh on the bass, laying down that flesh-eating low end.” Or: “This is from 1968, before the band really even knew what it could do.” Hearing this song first thing in the morning, Walton decided, was a good omen. We would have a lucky day.
Millennials live in the now. They don’t want to hear about tomorrow because they realize today is tenuous, having grown up when planes were crashing into the World Trade Center and social media began to sabotage lives.
Yes, you know, social media, where people circulate stories about sportswriters beating up their girlfriends and pleading guilty. Total life-destroying stuff.
What’s endearing about the Warriors is how they don’t hide their desire to establish history, yet do so in a way that doesn’t create resentment among opponents or the nation’s sports fans.
Yes, Spurs fans LOVE the Warriors. Not only are they rooting for Golden State to set the record, they’re praying San Antonio is victim no. 72! Such is the universal affection for all things Stef Curry!
In the algorithmic extravagaza known as Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight site, the latest postseason forecast came out Monday. The Warriors were given a 36 percent chance to win the NBA title. The Spurs were given a 37 percent chance.
There is always a doubter to quiet.
When you’ve hung with Anthony Kiedis and signed autographs for half of the fucking L.A.P.D. (who know a thing or two about famous men being set up), you can prognosticate all you want. Until then, well, SUCK IT NERD(S).
OK, that’s not exactly what 2003 no. 2 overall pick Darko Milicic — last seen in this space making his sport of the future debut — had to say about a peripatetic, underachieving NBA career highlighted by being super-glued to the Pistons bench. With comments culled from Blic by Hoops Hype, Darko insists, “I don’t miss basketball. I live very well, thank God.”
“I thought as a kid that talent was God-given, but it’s not. God gives you talent and you should use that talent with the real meaning of that word. I was stubborn. Maybe being young had something to do with it. There was option then of going to the NBA or staying in Serbia because Hemofarm knew that if I went to NBA they would get more money than they would get if I went to some European club. Here you had poverty and money was there.”
“Their system is cruel and I don’t like it. If a young player doesn’t succeed, they don’t look after him. That sucks. You have players who are first or second in the draft that get a chance to play. I didnt get the chance. LBJ is a killer now, but he did get a chance in his first year, he could shoot from the stands if he wanted. I barely got the chance. I had that situation in Orlando where if I shoot from perimeter, my coach Hill would yell, “Pass to Howard.” In Detroit nothing went right. Larry Brown always told me to go near the basket. They offered me a $40 million, four-year contract in Orlando, and then their manager blows it off, out of nowehere. My manager told me he would deal with it. I said OK, but just not Memphis. Anywhere but there. And, of course, I went to Memphis. Then I got injured, didn’t play much.
“I can’t play with American players. They only talked about who dunked on whom, who crossed over whom. I was weird to them because I didn’t think that way.”