Our long national nightmare is finally over ; after 4 years of strained pseudo stand-up and season-long attempts to glue “Survivor” to “SportsCenter” within the confines of the old Tower Records building on 4th and Broadway, Major League Baseball has mercifully pulled the plug the House Of Stupid otherwise known as the MLB Fan Cave. Sports Business Daily’s Eric Fisher provides the autopsy :
The move, led by Bob Bowman, president of business and media, is an attempt to consolidate all of baseball’s social media activities under MLB Advanced Media and the MLB Network. MLBAM had its own active social media agenda separate from the Fan Cave, often creating confusion on matters such as who would take a lead role in promoting coming MLB events.
“We’re trying to be more coordinated in all of our social media efforts,” Bowman said. “This change in structure is helping all of us focus on the same goals, and by putting all of the social media together, we hope to have a more consistent and effective message.”
Several Fan Cave components are likely to live on, including its concert series featuring up-and-coming acts and the creation of viral content with players outside the ballpark. But the original Fan Cave premise of having a group of selected fans watch every game of a season will cease.
Bowman said the decision to shift away from the Fan Cave does not represent a repudiation of the idea (“it would be a shame if that’s the conclusion people come to,” Bowman said).
Sorry, Bob. You’re not gonna spoil this moment for me. I’m gonna conclude we’re living in Repudiation City and you’re the goddamn Mayor.
SCP Auctions with great optimism calls Scott Norwood’s 1990 AFC Championship ring, “Bills Bling”. And in lieu of a non-existent Bills Super Bowl ring (or conversely, OJ Simpson’s skull), it’s probably the ultimate Buffalo artifact.
The following exchange between Cablevision CEO James Dolan and New York Knicks fan Irving Bierman was published earlier today by Deadspin :
Subject: I have been a knicks fan since 1952
At one stage I thought that you did a wonderful thing when you acquired EVERYTHING from your dad. However, since then it has been ALL DOWN HILL. Your working with Isaiah Thomas & everything else regarding the Knicks. Bringing on Phil Jackson was a positive beginning, but lowballing Steve Kerr was a DISGRACE to the knicks. The bottom line is that you merely continued to interfere with the franchise.
As a knicks fan for in excess of 60 years, I am utterly embarrassed by your dealings with the Knicks. Sell them so their fans can at least look forward to growing them in a positive direction Obviously, money IS NOT THE ONLY THING. You have done a lot of utterly STUPID business things with the franchise. Please NO MORE.
On Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 8:15 PM, James Dolanwrote:
You are a sad person. Why would anybody write such a hateful letter. I am.just guessing but ill bet your life is a mess and you are a hateful mess. What have you done that anyone would consider positive or nice. I am betting nothing. In fact ill bet you are negative force in everyone who comes in contact with you. You most likely have made your family miserable. Alcoholic maybe. I just celebrated my 21 year anniversary of sobriety. You should try it. Maybe it will help you become a person that folks would like to have around. In the mean while start rooting.for the Nets because the Knicks dont want you.
Speaking with ESPN, Bierman, though insisting he has no plans to switch to the Nets, says Dolan’s reponse “confirmed some of the worst things that fans think of him.” But the important thing is we all have Dolan’s email address, and given the high percentage of thoroughly unpleasant, friendless persons who read (or edit) this blog who may or may not have drinking problems, there is no better time to let this lumpen, charmless, tuneless, mega-entitled shitbag know that he’s merely a caretaker. The New York Knicks have existed for nearly 70 years and no tycoon with Blues Hammer aspirations has the right to tell anyone who to root for. He’s not Red Holtzman, Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Bernard King, Patrick Ewing, Anthony Mason or Charles Oakley. Heck, when it comes to being committed to the Knicks, he’s not even Matthew Modine’s crazy wife. Though it would probably be a (slight) exaggeration to say Dolan’s as big a P.R. disaster for the NBA as Donald Sterling, he’s pretty much told the entire fanbase to go fuck themselves. Given that Adam Silver’s established a precedent for making being loathsome an actionable offense, how about a little help here, Commish?
“I would like to apologize for the terrible error in judgment which has led to the present situation,” said 15 year MLB veteran LHP Ted Lilly in a plea deal announced yesterday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court. It seems Lilly, who won 130 games in his big league tenure (including 17 with the Cubs in 2008) has successfully knocked down three felony charges of filing a false insurance claim with an admission of guilt to the following, as reported by the San Luis Obispo Tribune News’ Matt FountainOf Bad Information About Ted Lilly :
He was charged by the California Department of Insurance for filing a false insurance claim in March relating to a damaged recreational vehicle, worth $210,000, Nancy Kincaid, a spokeswoman for the agency, previously told The Tribune.
The department’s investigation showed Lilly damaged the vehicle in a collision and sought an estimate from a body shop on March 19, Kincaid said. That estimate was $4,600.
Lilly then bought insurance from Progressive Insurance Corp. on March 24 and claimed the damage to Progressive on March 28, Kincaid said.
The arrest came as part of a Department of Insurance sweep, in which warrants were served in 22 counties and which has resulted in prosecutors filing some 200 felony counts.
Would you have preferred Cock E.S.P.? The Pioneer Press’ Kevin Cusick might’ve missed Al Michaels’ recent appearance on the Howard Stern Show, but he did manage to tune in for the legendary sports broadcasters chat with the other King Of All Media, Mike Florio (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory)
“Minnesota’s in the World Series against St. Louis, and it was ridiculously loud,” Michaels said Wednesday during an interview on Pro Football Talk Live on NBC Sports Radio. “I’ll never forget Scott Ostler was writing for the L.A. Times, and he described the (Metrodome) crowd as 54,223 Scandinavian James Browns.
“I’m going, wait a minute. This is a baseball game,” Michaels told the host, NBC colleague Mike Florio. “Nobody is screaming like this when the fifth inning starts. … To me, there was no question” that the crowd noise was not natural.
Michaels recalled how ABC’s attempt to gauge the noise level resulted in a broken sound meter.
“The decibel level had gotten higher than a runway at Minneapolis-St. Paul airport,” Michaels said.
Q: So people were asking me all week why your style was considered any different than Marshawn’s. I’ve got my own opinion, but how do you see it?
A: The only time I’m uncooperative is the end of the first or third quarter. Other than that, I do interviews and laugh it up with everybody all the time. I just have a philosophical difference with the NBA, and I let them know it every time. But that’s like 1% of the interviews that I do.
Q: Have you argued to have those after-quarter interviews eliminated?
A: Oh, Sure. Hell, I bring it up every year at the head coaches meeting in Chicago, when all the head coaches are there and TNT and ESPN and all the representatives. I raise my hand every year, and I say, “Well guys, you know what I’m going to say. I don’t understand why we have to do this, to subject the coaches and the questioners to this little period of idiocy. They (the TV people) are in our timeouts the entire game. They have cameras in our timeouts. They hear everything we say. They have microphones and they can use anything they want — you know, we trust them. So if they have total access like that, this end of first and third quarter actually takes us away from our job.” And that’s my philosophical difference with them.
I said, “I’m supposed to be setting the defense and offense to start the next quarter, and I can’t do my job because I’m doing this inane deal with whoever is asking me a question.” The questions are unanswerable. It’s like, “That quarter, you got killed on the boards. What are you going to do about it?.” “Well, I’m going to conduct a trade during timeouts.” Or, “I’m going to ask them nicely to do a better job on the boards.” The questions just demand a trite quip, or something, so I just say, “You know, it just puts everybody in a stupid position.” And (NBA officials) listen to it, and then they go, “Yeah, well (blabbering).” And then they don’t do anything about it. So I just do what I do.
As mentioned in this space over the weekend, former Mets starter turned postgame analyst Bobby Ojeda’s 6-year stint with SNY came to an end when the latter opted not to honor his request for a raise. Wednesday in the New York Daily News, Ojeda tells Andy Martino that “people who say they (Fred & Jeff Wilpon, Saul Katz) don’t care about the team are sorely mistaken”, perhaps sugesting, y’know, someone else is at fault.
“The Wilpons and Mr. Saul Katz are the biggest Mets fans you will meet,” Ojeda said by phone, while boarding a flight to the Bahamas. “Last I checked, Fred is not the general manager. Last I checked, Jeff is not the general manager. Last I checked, Saul is not the general manager. So the people they’ve put in those positions are ones who have failed, and what have they done? They have tried to make changes, bring in the right people.”
There was a natural follow-up: Was Ojeda saying that the Mets could not win under the current GM, Sandy Alderson?
“I do believe that it’s the guys on the field,” was Ojeda’s answer to that direct question. “If the guys pull together and rack up the W’s, that’s what it’s all about. So many times, it’s not the greatest team on paper (that wins). There are so many ingredients that go into creating a winning atmosphere. I think there is some work to be done on that winning atmosphere. I really do. And I think if those things are addressed in spring training, they’ll be on their way.
“But if the message is the same, that will be detrimental. Because the message is all this positiveness. The reality is six years under .500.
It’s entirely possible that any number of Seattle Seahawks fans celebrated prematurely Sunday night, but Twitter user @ocashughjhazz took it to the extreme, getting the above tattoo a day prior. As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Nick Eaton reports, the Kirland, WA native turned Jacksonville transplant, “wouldn’t change anything”.
“It’s been rough for me this morning,” O.C. told seattlepi.com. “I was pretty devastated last night. I fell to the ground after that interception. … I’m obviously devastated, but I had fun with it.”
“Obviously I’m gonna keep it. I already threw away the receipt,” he added, laughing. “I don’t regret getting it. It’s been a fun ride. I like to take risks.”
I realize it’s tempting to label this guy some sort of crazy uber fan, but wait ’til you seen the screenshots of the dude with the Threepeat backpiece.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Paul Walsh reports Bloodshot recording artist Robbie Fulks made quite the lasting impression with an appearance on Saturday’s episode of the venerable “A Prairie Home Companion” :
Country songwriter Robbie Fulks sang “Where I Fell” about 50 minutes into the nationally broadcast show Saturday evening at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, and with it the blasphemy that ends with the syllable “damn.”
Before the late-morning rebroadcast Sunday to MPR’s listeners, an apology was aired and the word was bleeped out the second time around.
“Prairie Home” spokesman David O’Neill said the show issued a “language advisory” soon after the live broadcast Saturday to 670 local stations across the country about the word.
Scott, a 2013 18th-round Draft pick, allegedly appears on video punching Melbourne designated hitter Kellin Deglan, a Rangers prospect and former first-round pick, during a bench-clearing brawl on Jan. 16. According to a report in The (Adelaide) Advertiser, the punch left Deglan with “facial injuries requiring dental work, and [he] gave a statement to police in relation to the incident.”
“We are aware of the situation and take it seriously,” the Mariners said in a statement to MiLB.com. “Troy is cooperating fully with the Australian authorities, but we are unable to comment further on an ongoing investigation and court matter.”
The Australian Baseball League confirmed Scott’s arrest, adding that the 21-year-old Californian was immediately released on bail. The ABL initially suspended Scott for six games — the most severe suspension in league history — and fined him an undisclosed amount. After that discipline, the league notified Adelaide that Scott would be suspended indefinitely, keeping him out of the upcoming ABL Championship Series, which the Bite will host next week.
….because they don’t get much more grim & all-around scoldy than former Amazins starter Bobby Ojeda, who over the past 6 years has presided over Mets postgame wraps with his own unique brand of tough love. Perhaps thinking Keith Hernandez has already filled the quota for ’86 Mets alumni willing to call out today’s players, SNY is waving bye bye to Bobby O after rejecting a raise request, and Metsradamus is not alone in bemoaning the departure of a commentator he calls “your cranky uncle”.
There aren’t a lot of baseball broadcasts I enjoy more than SNY’s from top to bottom, and I do peruse my share. Burkhardt’s and now Ojeda’s departure will hurt. But it will probably mean that I just won’t watch nearly as many post games as I used to. To be honest, it’s very rare that I will leave Dog Piss Live (which is what Post Game Live is called after tough losses) on for any reason other than “Is Bobby Ojeda going to finally smash the set with a baseball bat after a tough loss.” Sadly, this will never happen.
Say what you want about Ojeda … he was honest. And he drew from his experience to make points about the current team. And good or bad, he had conviction. Hopefully the news that Nelson Figueroa is the front runner to replace Ojeda will prove true and pan out, because if his replacement comes from among the backups that usually roam 51st street when Ojeda is on vacation, I’m flipping the channel after the 27th out. And I sure as hell hope that Ojeda’s departure doesn’t open the door for the slanted, homer scourge that has seeped in pretty much everywhere else.
(would you trust this man to mix a Purple Pecker Wrecker?)
CSNNE.com’s Tom E. Curran took in Roger Goodell’s pre-Super Bowl XLIX press conference yesterday and denounced the NFL Commissioner for “a vindictive, self-important, spare-no-expense investigation into footballs being less than 12.5 PSI” (“how’s that Jets tampering charge coming along, Rog? What a %#$&*$% fraud”). Midway thru Curran’s rip job, he had a chance encounter with NFLPA President Eric Winston, who added, “Hey, even the worst bartender at Spring Break does pretty well. Think about it, a 2-year-old could [be NFL Commissioner] and still make money.” On Saturday, Winston apologized, as the Washington Post’s Marissa Payne details :
Winston, an offensive tackle on the Cincinatti Bengals who was elected to lead the NFLPA last March, took to Twitter after Curran used the remark in his Friday column and accused the reporter of taking his comment “out of context” and using it to “burn” him.
“I am disappointed that my comment was taken out of context and inserted into a column without any knowledge that the conversation was ‘on the record.’ I am disappointed that this reporter chose to burn me, but this is an important lesson that I will learn going forward,” Winston wrote.
While condemning Curran, Winston also doled out an apology to Goodell.
“In a casual conversation … about the success of the NFL and how nothing seems to get in its way, I inappropriately and flippantly made a remark about the job of Commissioner Goodell. We often disagree on the issues but I want to apologize to Roger for being unprofessional,” Winston wrote. “This is my fault and again, I apologize.”
Curran’s yet to respond, either via CSNNE or on Twitter, and it would be interesting to learn more about he “burned” Winston, who presumably has dealt with the media before.
Sadly, it’s been a few years since Chuck Meehan updated us on the mischief taking place at Philadelphia’s annual salute to gluttony, The Wing Bowl, but leave it to former WWE/WCW/ECW fixture / best-selling author Mick Foley to bring the event back into the CSTB-sphere. Philly.com’s Vaughan Johnson details the former Dude Love’s ill-advised attempt to cheat in this esteemed competition :
Because of the entrance order, Foley was seated next to Molly Schuyler, the defending Wing Bowl champion, who set a world record during her dominant victory in 2014.
Foley estimates he got through about 70 wings before looking over at Schuyler and realizing that she had already devoured more than 200. He quickly knew he was in way over his head at this point.
Despite the numerous steel chair shots to the cranium, Foley quickly thought on his feet and weighed his options. Foley believed that if he attempted to keep up with Schuyler, he would eventually vomit all over the place, publicly embarrassing himself. The alternative to throwing up would be to cheat. Like a good wrestling heel, Foley knew he was overmatched and chose the latter option.
“I’d rather cheat than puke,” Foley said afterward.
Thus began the process of him stuffing his trusty fanny pack with poultry. While Foley was disqualified before even reaching 100, Schuyler wolfed down 440 wings, but was still good enough to finish only in second place, as Patrick Bertoletti unseated the defending champion, with a record 444 wings.
If a recent Instagram post is to be taken at face value, Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland is somewhat ambivalent about his band’s legacy and space in the current cultural climate (AND WHO CAN BLAME HIM?). As Metal Injection reports, Borland would seemingly rather schedule root canal than participate in the ShipRocked cruise alongside other iconic düde-metal purveyors :
Getting all packed up this week for Broatchella 2015. It’s the same as Brochella but it’s off land. Can’t wait to see me some roided out tribal tattooed spray tanned Jell-O shot filled bohunks do their best drunk MMA impressions in the top deck mosh pit. Whenever we aren’t on stage, I’ll be curled up fetal position in my cabin, palms up, while I desperately cling to the last week of my thirties as it slips through my hooked fingers. So, I’d like to give a shout out now to all the other over-the-hill late nineties/early 2000s bands going on the cruise: Let’s give these people the raging alcohol fueled nostalgia fest they’re paying for guys! I know we can do it if we tune down low enough!”
Of Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch’s near legendary truculence when confronted by tape recorders and notepads, the Saint Paul Pioneer Press’ Brian Murphy opines the Skittles enthusiast’s “tired sphinx act masks the hard truth that without the media NFL players would be playing in a parking lot for $8 an hour.” I guess we’ll have to assume that denied the opportunity to write about the exploits of the NFL’s workface, Murphy would be curing diseases or winning Drama Desk awards (as opposed to, y’know, manning the mop at an adult bookstore). The argument seems to be that Lynch desperately needs the media to do his job, not the other way around, with Murphy insisting, “Lynch mocks the $2 billion TV networks pay to broadcast his profession and paying fans who consume NFL coverage across every medium.” Given that Lynch cashes his paychecks, I’m not sure he’s mocking the league’s TV partners. He might, however, be mocking journalists who have a very inflated sense of their own importance. In the wake of all this outrage, The Atlantic’s Dashiell Bennett suggests Lynch’s act is in the very rich tradition of another World Champion, albeit one from another sport who is generally treated with far more deference by the reporters who line up for his abuse.
Lynch isn’t the only media-averse sports figure. Gregg Popovich, the head coach for the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, is another famous interview malcontent. He participates in the mandatory shakedowns with sideline reporters, but unlike most NBA coaches, he responds with only the most terse answers, or with open disdain for the interviewers. Also, unlike almost every other NBA coach, his media moments are a must-watch.
In that sense, it’s hard to argue that refusing to pal around with reporters is unprofessional. Not cooperating with the machine actually generates better stories. And it only underlines the point that reporters need the athletes way more than the athletes need them. It seems likely that every news outlet in the country could fire their sports reporters tomorrow (please don’t!), but the NFL would keep filling stadiums. Lynch’s (high-paying) job will continue to be playing football, not giving quotes. Although if the media paid a little closer attention, they’d realize he’s graciously giving them the second part for free.
“There is no standard course; it is tailored to each individual,” says England Football Association inclusion education advisor Chris Gibbons of the special diversity training he’s meant to provide to Wigan Chairman Dave Whelan (above, right), currently serving a 6-week ban for his comments regarding Jews and the Chinese. As Gibbons explains to The Guardian’s David Conn, “At the end, we encourage people to think about positive things they could say publicly.”
Gibbons,who was formerly responsible for the education campaigns at Stonewall, the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity. says “we absolutely don’t want it to be a lecture by somebody suited and booted from the FA; we structure courses with interactive exercises aimed at helping people to understand the impact their comments or behaviour can have. There are different ways of showing people, even if they didn’t mean something to be offensive, how others can be very, very offended and hurt. We show them some actual responses from the community referred to, discuss big episodes of history where such things were said, we encourage people to put themselves in the place of those who were the subject of the comments.”
Gibbons says that in Whelan’s case he is likely to show the offence which was taken by Jewish people and organisations to the comment that “Jewish people chase money more than everybody else” and Chinese people to Whelan’s assertion that calling them “chink” is not offensive. Eight Chinese organisations headed by the British Chinese project reacted furiously to that.
Their spokesman, Michael Wilkes, told the Guardian that the Chinese community is not as well institutionally organised as the Jewish community, but there was great anger at Whelan’s revival of a derogatory term they thought had been largely consigned to history.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft, addressing Richard Sherman’s accusations that his chummy relationship with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell presents a conflict of interest, dismissed the Seattle CB as “a very smart marketing whiz”. Trouble is, as The Nation’s Dave Zirin sees it, there’s considerable weight to Sherman’s claims.
As GQ’s Gabriel Sherman wrote in a damning long read that dropped this week about Goodell, Kraft is apparently known among NFL execs as “the assistant commissioner.” Even this description is charitable. It’s less the relationship between an assistant and a commissioner as much as it is one between a hand and the bottom aperture of a puppet. Bob Kraft, in addition to being just a “friend of Goodell,” has been the great defender of nGoodell’s stunning $44 million salary. He was Goodell’s first defender during the release of information that showed that the NFL cared very little about domestic violence until tape went public of Ray Rice striking his wife Janay. He also, according to GQ, orchestrated Goodell’s disastrous defense of the NFL’s domestic violence policies, in conjunction with CBS network who was about to start airing its lucrative Thursday night NFL telecasts. Kraft ordered Goodell to speak to CBS and grant an interview to, in Kraft’s insistence “a woman,” who ended up being Norah O’Donnell. Goodell complied.
This relationship with Bob Kraft and the mere appearance of impropriety that marks how Goodell handles every issue that crosses his desk, tells its own story about why he must go. A reckless incompetence now defines everything he touches, whether it is his enforcing of the rules, the health and safety of players, or his dealings with the union. Instead of acting—like his predecessor Paul Tagliabue—as even the mildest of checks on the grasping of the bosses, he is their id unleashed. Instead of listening to players, Goodell is so comically distanced from the reality of his own ineptitude that he has become the sports version of Yertle the Turtle.
At one time one of the nation’s 40 or so most popular sports blogs, Can’t Stop The Bleeding celebrates 12 years of cutting, pasting and quoting out context (along with dramatic downturns in traffic & advertising revenues), with a 7th annual (!), not-at-all-affiilated with SXSW free event. Past participants have included such superstars as the Homosexuals, Protomartyr, the Muffs, TV Ghost, Tyvek, Endless Boogie, Spray Paint, The Gotobeds, Wiccans, Wounded Lion, The Young, Apache Dropout and many others who used this particular event as a launching pad….to play additional shows no one paid them to play.
(What can I tell you, times are tough.)
2015′s Participants include :
Often called “the only band that matters”, or simply “the greatest of all time”, this legendary ensemble — widely considered responsible for the popularity of YouTube — will be traveling with their long awaited new album, ‘Beginning Of A New Era’ in tow.
An equal parts punishing/thrilling new duo featuring Ben Greenberg (Hubble, Pygmy Shrews, The Men) and Michael Berdan (York Factory Complaint, Drunkdriver, Believer/Law). Following a debut 12″ last autumn on Beggars Tomb, Uniform’s first album, ‘Perfect World’ is coming via 12XU later this year.
USA / MEXICO (Austin, TX)
A newish trio featuring Craig Clouse (Shit & Shine), King Coffey (Butthole Surfers, Rubble) and Owen McMahon (Cherubs). They’re not played that many times yet, so there’s no reason to pretend you’re sick of them.
Andrew Earles recently dubbed Abe White’s wrecking crew, “depravo-core creators” and I’d call that sticker copy (if i was in the business of copying stickers). ‘Sit n Spin’ (Pelican Pow Wow Records) followed a serious winning streak of 7″‘s, but if you’ve not seen this band before, get some (extra) padding for the back of your head.
This hotly tipped Austin trio have obliterated room after room in their short existence, with their sole 7″ to date receiving high praise from sources as disparate as MRR and The Wire. Their Ian Rundell-recorded LP debut, ‘The Redeemer’, emerges on 12XU just a few weeks before this show.
Pushed in our cowering faces by the same awesome label responsible for Cuntz, Bits Of Shit and Deaf Wish’s earliest stuff, Yes I’m Leaving compensate for an unwieldy name by recalling some of the more sterling moments in the Scratch Acid, Big Black and Lubricated Goat catalogs. If some or all of the above aren’t in your wheelhouse, there’s probably something else you’ll enjoy elsewhere in the neighborhood.
Injuries (Austin TX)
A rather guttural, determined guitar/drums duo who’ve recently been taken under the recording wing of Dikes/Spray Paint fixture Chris Stephenson. Their resulting 5 song demo (Drug Front) is the kinda thing most scene vets are unlikely to match (or they already would’ve done so)
Congrats to the many acolytes of WFAN’s Mike Francesa on achieving the near impossible this weekend ; they manufactured a public spectacle that makes Philly’s Wing Bowl seem downright sophisticated by comparison!