WaPo’s Steinberg : Papelbon’s Trump Fixation Hastened His Departure

Posted in Baseball at 9:52 pm by

Supplanted as Nats closer by the recently acquired Mark Melancon, universally despised reliever Jonathan Papelbon was released by Washington on Monday, putting an end to a tumultuous tenure in the nation’s capitol that included last fall’s on-camera attempt to strangle teammate Bryce Harper. The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg explains that the boorish behavior exhibited by Papelpon in public might’ve been exceeded in private :

Maybe players don’t, or shouldn’t, care whether the home fans like them. If a Nationals player did care, though, he probably wouldn’t have wanted to wear a T-shirt reading “Obama can’t ban these guns” to his let’s-make-amends spring training news conference. Nor would he have, on multiple occasions, played a political anthem while reporters were inside the Nats clubhouse.

The ditty was called “Vote For Trump,” and it included promises that “the wall will get built by Mexico” and that Trump would “bring back country [and] get rid of rap,” also noting that “if you don’t like it you can all just kiss our ass.”

Should fans judge athletes on their political beliefs? Probably not, unless you’ve given up on the idea of sports-as-escapism. Should fans judge athletes on the lyrics of their personal musical choices? That’s a terrible idea, too, unless your goal is to be forever miserable. You could argue that there’s courage in standing for your political beliefs even when they won’t play well in your home stadium — and my impression is that the Nats’ fan base leans more left than right.

But it all contributed to the impression that Papelbon wasn’t particularly interested in reversing his local unpopularity. It’s an impression that didn’t change after he lost his closer role and was shown sunning himself in the bullpen late in a recent game. Maybe that was silly, too, but it all felt like a man completely indifferent to salvaging his reputation in the stands.


Cubs To A/V Dept. : Next Time, Dig Up Some Rectal Hygienics

Posted in "Sickie Wifebeater" Is Not A Fashion Statement, Baseball at 11:32 am by

From the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan :

The Cubs are preparing to discipline the Wrigley Field DJ who played an inappropriate song after Aroldis Chapman’s appearance during Sunday night’s game.

The ’90s song, “Smack My Bitch Up” by the English band the Prodigy, came on the PA system after Chapman left the mound in the top of the ninth inning.

Chapman served a 30-game suspension with the Yankees this year after an alleged domestic violence incident in which Chapman was accused of choking his girlfriend and firing eight bullets in his garage. Chapman was not arrested and no charges were filed.

A source said the DJ would be disciplined for what the team said was accidental timing, and a statement would be released later today.

Another Important Message From The Entertainment Division Of Cumbucket Media : Coming Septmber 16, The Gospel Truth’s ‘Jealous Fires’

Posted in 12XU, Austin, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 10:51 am by


The Gospel Truth’s 3rd record and 2nd full length takes ideas & sounds cleverly sketched out on 2013’s ‘A Lonely Man Does Foolish Things’ and opens ‘em up wide screen to the point where the quartet’s range is running neck-and-neck with their imagination. Expertly recorded by Ian Rundell (Spray Paint, Empty Markets, Xetas), ‘Jealous Fires’ is a brooding, kinetic masterpiece, one that makes a very strong case for vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Mark Tonucci’s unique take on the human condition.


(photo by Julie Bishop)

There’s vague echoes of some exceptional moments in rock history (Suicide, the Bad Seeds, ‘Transformer’) but there’s no contemporaries with The Gospel Truth’s ability to fuse such unvarnished explorations of mind, soul & spirit to a musical accompaniment nearly as explosive. In bassist David Petro and drummer Brandon Crowe, Tonucci’s got one of underground rock’s more inventive rhythm sections ; in guitarist Patrick Travis, a player whose flair and stylistic range makes a mockery of, well, anyone who’d settle for calling this band post-punk.

All four of these guys have logged considerable time in other Austin bands you most likely know and love ; Mark in the improv jazz quartet Art Acevedo and as the frequent saxophone fixture in troubadour John Wesley Coleman’s live band, David on guitar/vocals for 12XU labelmates Xetas, bass for Art Acevedo, Brandon’s past tenure in When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth and recent work alongside Quin Galavis in False Idol, or Patrick’s drumming for The Golden Boys…but suffice to say, The Gospel Truth SOUND ZILCH LIKE ANY OF THE ABOVE and said backgrounds only serve to point out the fellas in question are all-over-the-musical-map in a very good way.

Since 12XU is legally bound to mention The Scientists at least once every band bio this quarter, the 8 originals on ‘Jealous Fires’ are augmented by a blistering cover of “Set It On Fire”.

Preorder at 12XU.bigcartel.com


Gang Green’s Cromartie To Mom : Hit The Bricks

Posted in Gridiron at 9:31 pm by

Jets CB Antonio Cromartie is somewhat infamous for his difficulty remembering the names of his many children, however, he’s no slouch when it comes to keeping track of rent arrears amassed by the person who brought him into the world.  TMZ reports that Cromartie is attempting to kick his own mother to the curb, banishing her from a Florida home he purchased in 2007.

TMZ Sports spoke with Cromartie’s little sister, LaQuinta Gardner … who says their mother was served with an eviction notice on Thursday and the family is pissed.

Gardner claims … Cromartie bought the house and paid for everything for years — but the gravy train stopped in February when he asked his mother to pay the $700 per month mortgage bill.

We’re told the mother refused — insisting Cro, who’s made millions in his career, should pay since the house was supposed to be a gift.

Both sides dug in … culminating in the eviction papers, which say Cro’s mother needs to be out by August 15th … UNLESS she forks over a check for $2,310 in back payment.
Gardner says she has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for her mother.


Jackson : Unlike The Coach I Shitcanned, Today’s Players Are Unfocused Jerks

Posted in Basketball at 4:47 pm by

If you had at any presumed the dismissal of Knicks head coach  Derek Fisher was in any way related to his zipper issues and/or endless feud with Matt Barnes, Knicks president Phil Jackson would like to assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. In a wide ranging chat with Today’s Fast Break’s Charley Rosen, Jackson instead infers it really comes to something along the lines of a (wait for it ) millennial mindset :

“Almost from the start, this was a difficult time for Derek. Derek did have a situation that took some focus away from his coaching during the preseason, but I never doubted that his focus was on coaching the team. A divorce and coast-to-coast move with children does put pressure on a person’s life, but that’s the NBA. However, Derek did move the team forward. He was dedicated and he worked hard. The players hustled and, for the most part, stayed as positive as was possible. And Derek did manage to survive last season and to deal with the heavy pressure of the constant losing, which is probably more intense in New York than in any other NBA city.”

“Because Derek was still in a player’s mindset, he’d talk to the guys about diet, how to approach shootarounds, the importance of gameday naps, of game preparation, and of being ready for the practices that are called the day after games. He was training individuals, which was really in tune with the so-called millennials, young people and young players who are primarily interested in themselves. In the NBA, these young guys are concerned with what playing for whatever team they’re on can do for them. Can playing in New York or Boston or LA or wherever add 10K followers to my Twitter account? Will the local media get me lucrative endorsements? What do I have to concentrate on to get a better contract?”


Daily Beast Editor : I’m Not A Gay Olympian, I Just Play One On The Internet For Clicks & Laughs

Posted in non-sporting journalism, olympics, Rio 2016, Sports Journalism at 5:25 pm by


Thursday’s (since-edited), “The Other Olympic Sport in Rio: Swiping” by The Daily Beast’s Nico Hines promises the sensational (“armed with a range of dating and hookup apps—Bumble, Grindr, Jack’d, and Tinder—your distinctly non-Olympian correspondent had scored three dates in the first hour,”), but the author fails to comprehend the real-life consequences for those he’s mocking, as The Advocate’s Daniel Reynolds details :

In a piece titled “This Daily Beast Grindr Stunt Is Sleazy, Dangerous, and Wildly Unethical,” Slate LGBT issues writer Mark Joseph Stern branded it “a uniquely disgusting and irresponsible entry into the tired genre” of “Grindr-baiting,” a practice in which journalists engage with Grindr users for editorial reasons that differ with the app’s intent.

What makes Hines’s piece uniquely “dangerous,” Stern pointed out, is that the original version provided details like nationality and physical descriptions that could be used to out an athlete — a dangerous prospect indeed for competitors from anti-LGBT nations.

The Daily Beast has since revised the article to omit descriptions of athletes that might reveal their identity. A look at the URL suggests the title has also been changed. It is currently “The Other Olympic Sport in Rio: Swiping,” while the HTML reads, “i-got-three-grindr-dates-in-an-hour-in-the-olympic-village.html.”


Inspire Pro’s Keith Lee : Bringing Frank Talk About Annihilation To The Local Morning News

Posted in Austin, Professional Wrestling at 8:07 pm by

When not lighting up the small screen for Sinclair Broadcasting’s Ring Of Honor as part of an imposing tag team with Shane Taylor, Inspire Pro Champion Keith Lee occasionally finds himself the toast of breakfast chat TV.

Sunday night, Lee will be working alongside Ricky Starks in a tag match against Davey Vega and Tim Storm, as Inspire Pro debuts at a new venue, West Anderson Lane’s Red Oak Ballroom. Bell time is 5:30pm and tickets are a ridiculously cheap $15.


Wishing You All A Very Happy National Book Lovers Day

Posted in Literary Titans at 9:22 pm by


An Important Message From The Entertainment Division Of Cumbucket Media

Posted in 12XU, Internal Affairs, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 10:15 pm by

As you may or may not be aware, the debut album from Austin’s Meet Your Death is released this coming Friday (August 12), coinciding with a show at East 6th Street’s Hotel Vegas also featuring labelmates James Arthur’s Manhunt, Atlanta’s Omni and early contenders for Best Band Little Steven Would Have A Problem With, Borzoi.

Anyhow, a local website graced us with their opinion of Meet Your Death’s forthcoming album and declared the band’s repertoire, “music so obscure and varied that most wouldn’t recognize the songs unless they had an extensive musical knowledge.”

The reviewer has a point. What did Bo Diddley or Mose Allison ever accomplish compared to say, Moving Units?

Still, while each critic is entitled to his or her opinions and biases, deeply entrenched or not, there was one sentence in particular that I must take exception to ; “perhaps because Meet Your Death is comprised of seasoned performers, or perhaps because they have friends at 12XU, it seems we’ve been asked to consider this as a record by a developed band.”

The reason folks are invited to consider ‘Meet Your Death’ the work of a developed band is rather simple : John Schooley and Walter Daniels’ individual resumes and discographies look like a virtual who’s who of crucial players in US underground rock history. The rhythm section of Harpal Assi and Matt Hammer have merely been key components in 4 of Texas’ most acclaimed modern outfits (and that’s a modest count). Collectively, the band has been playing out for two years. But the implication that efforts to bring their work to the wider public are a byproduct of “friendship” could not be further from the truth.

For starters, I can’t stand these guys. When I see John or Walter on the street, not only do I cross to the other side, I hop in a cab, head straight to the airport and purchase a one-way ticket to the furthest-away domestic location. You ever wonder why I’m nowhere to be found after they play? Because I’d sooner cut my own throat than discuss topics like, “was the guitar loud enough?”, “how was the lighting?” or, “do you think they’ll have us back?”

I realize it makes convenient copy, suggesting the label roster is one-big-happy family, but truth be told, I work with a never-ending succession of horrible, horrible human beings and I need to take drastic steps every day to make sure none of their character flaws rub off on my otherwise perfect self. My sole motive for documenting their endeavors is complete and thorough appreciation for their art (and the fervent desire to exploit the fuck out of it). But do I consider these musicians to be friends? Listen, if any of ‘em showed up at my doorstep asking to use the bathroom, I’d demand a doctor’s note and a $50 deposit.

OK, glad we cleared that up.

From The Desk Of Randy L : Me & A-Rod – The Bronx Wasn’ t Big Enough For The Both Of Us

Posted in Baseball at 8:30 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : from time to time, noted baseball executive Randy L. visits CSTB to weigh in on the important matters of the day, sporting and otherwise.  After Sunday morning’s announcement that Alex Rodriguez would end his playing career this coming Friday night at the Nu Stadium, assuming a tutorial role from Spring Training 2017 onward, Randy offered, well, he demanded to have his say – GC)

Greetings members of The Yankee Universe and those who wish in their most personal moments-in-the-dark they could somehow be a part of it. But hey, maybe in two years’ time, Jay Bruce. Enjoy playing out the string surrounded by a Triple-A lineup andundocumented laborers struggling to move 2016 National League Champs swag marked down to 80% off.

But enough about our (alleged) crosstown rivals. Listen, I realize the narrative is that our organization’s “baseball” people somehow prevailed upon yours truly to trade assets like Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller for a boatload of prospects, but do you really believe, in your heart of hearts, that such cunning moves didn’t really have my fingerprints all over them?  The only thing harder to comprehend than the local media’s love affair with our oversexed General Manager is his inability to think with his brains instead of his dick, but I know my readers aren’t nearly that gullible.  Everyone from Baseball America to Tom Verducci to Meredith Marakovits assures me our future is blindingly bright and by this time in 2018, the entire sports universe will once again be KISSING MY ASS, 24-7 as we run away with the American League East.

Of course, you can’t start a new era with closing the door on the old one, and as I’m sure you’ve heard by now, our lineup will soon be free of the single biggest clubhouse cancer/contractual albatross in modern sports history.  Some may call it unbecoming to gloat over vanquishing a rival, but I’ve worked tirelessly the last few years to make this day a reality. Allow me to gloat.  It’s not as though you’ve accomplished anything with your pathetic lives.

(illustration courtesy Tim Cook)

Cynics will point out that Alex Rodriguez will still be paid the remainder of his 2016 and 2017 salaries, but that’s assuming he doesn’t manage to do something so embarrassing, so shameful, he’d sooner leave those tens of millions on the table than allow a certain accomplished executive to release a certain video recording he’s hoped against hope didn’t really exist.

So make no mistake, A-Rod’s merely “retired” from putting on the pinstripes and facing major league pitching.  His days of LOOKING OVER HIS SHOULDER are only beginning, however, and I’m not at all inclined to kiss that money goodbye. While the intensely creepy Brian Cashman is trying to pick up librarians on social media claiming his name is Ryan Moneyperson (for fuck’s sake, was “Dick Tate” already taken?), I’m the one person in these offices who is working late into the evening, trying to figure out how we’re gonna be able to afford Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper and Noah Syndergaard.  Hypothetically, I mean.  It’s not tampering if no one reads this blog anymore, right?

Good seats are still available for Friday night, and I’m told there’s a pregame concert hosted by a local celeb who has some sort of irrational dislike of trios.  All of these math nerds in the office and not one of them could point out The National aren’t a trio?

yours in returning-to-dominance,
Randy L.