Chuck Knoblauch Continues To Mistake The Women In His Life For Punching Bags

Posted in "Wife Beater" Is Not A Fashion Statement, Baseball, The Law at 4:33 pm by

Though he’ll probably not challenge Ray Rice for the day’s top story, former Twins/Yankees 2B Chuck Knoblauch has for the second time in 4 years, been charged with domestic violence, this time the assault of ex-wife, Cheri, in the Bunker Hill section of Houston, TX. From KHOU.com :

Cheri, 37, told police she was napping with her child when Knoblauch barged into the child’s bedroom and began yelling at her. She said he bashed her head into the wall, hit her in the face and threw a humidifier at her.

Chuck Knoblauch’s sister, who was staying in the home, said she heard Cheri screaming and saw her brother chasing Cheri through the house. She told officers she witnessed Chuck hitting Cheri repeatedly in the chest and arm. The two women and child fled the house and called police from Knoblauch’s sister’s house.

Memorial Villages police officers arrested Knoblauch and said he appeared “extremely intoxicated.” He was released after posting a $10,000 bond.

Knoblauch was elected to the Twins Hall of Fame earlier this year. The induction ceremony was canceled Thursday after the Twins learned of the allegations against him, according to Yahoo Sports.

Another Important Message From The Entertainment Division Of Cumbucket Media : New Albums From Jonly Bonly & The Gotobeds

Posted in 12XU, Internal Affairs, record collector disease at 1:16 pm by

1 BEST copy

For the degenerate minority of us who buy records and obsess over ‘em, The Gotobeds first came to our attention when word began to spread that Kim Phuc guitarist Eli Kasan and drummer-turned-guitarist Tom Payne had a new band. That powerhouse pedigree certainly didn’t hurt, but non-residents of Blitzburgh were in for a slight headfuck upon hearing The Gotobeds’ debut 7”, “Ipso Facto (It’s All Happening)” (Mind Cure) in the Fall of 2013. Teamed with bassist Gavin Jensen and drummer Cary Belbeck, the quartet’s chaotic take on smart-dude avant punk could’ve passed for one of the best singles of 1979, ’89, ’99, really, any year that ended in a 9. 1859. 2019.

A subsequent 45 for Mind Cure, spring 2014’s “New York’s Alright (If You Like Sex & Phones)” upped the ante considerably ; though one publication called it Lee Ving-baiting, ’twas a Parquet Courts LP that was smashed into tiny pieces in the song’s widely seen music video. Lest anyone believes this was manufactured attempt at creating a feud, the simple fact of the matter is that hardly anyone is willing to talk about the consequences of poor LP handling. You call it a promotional clip, I call it a PSA —- can’t we simply agree the song was amazing?


After some OTT blog hyperventilating and an action-packed trip to SXSW and back, we can fast forward to ‘Poor People Are Revolting’, as confident and filler-free a debut rock album as you’re gonna hear in these sad, otherwise sloppy times.

JonlyBonly_1320 copy

(photo by Ali Copeland)

Through Jason Smith’s tenures in the OBN III’s and playing alongside Orville Neeley and The Flesh Lights’ Max Vandever in the modestly-named The Best, Jason long ago established himself as a rock/pop/punk/whatever virtuoso, a devastatingly great soloist, yet a wildly inventive rhythm player with a razor-like focus on service-to-the-song. In late 2012, Neeley left town for an extended stint with Bad Sports and Smith found himself with no gigs or rehearsals to soak up time otherwise spent giving dancing clinics.

And with that, Jonly Bonly was formed. Smith spent that winter break composing a pile of new power pop classics that guitar prowess aside, bore little resemblance to his work alongside Andrew Cashen in OBN III’s ; Austin gigs throughout 2013 & ’14 with the crack rhythm section of bassist Stephen Svacina (Sweet Talk, Uptown Bums) and drummer Marley Jones (OBN III’s, ex-Sweet Talk) unveiled a ridiculously talented trio far too dynamic to be relegated to side-project status.

??Put Together, recorded during this year and last with the assistance of Neeley —- in addition to sessions at Denton, TX’s Cool Devices with Mark Ryan and Jeff Burke (Marked Men, Radioactivity) has all the wit and swagger anybody who’s watched Smith in action has come to expect. And if you’re wondering, that he’s not even close to peaking is not an acceptable excuse for sleeping on this audacious debut album.

Preorder both albums here.


Dino Costa’s Curious Approach To Booking Guests (And/Or “Godless Fucks”)

Posted in Dino Costa, Religion, Sports Radio at 11:59 pm by

On Wednesday, Sports On Earth’s Tomas Rios took a long look at Tony Dungy’s recent comments that he’d have avoided the ticking-time-bomb that is Michael Sam being-his-gay-self in an NFL locker room in a piece entitled “The Respectable Bigot”. Dungy, who apparently considers Sam to be a far greater threat to team morale than say, convicted felon/dog murderer Michael Vick, “believes gay people don’t deserve equal rights, which makes him a bigot by definition,” in Rios’ view, adding, “people who intertwine their biases with their religion are usually intractable.” All of which leads us to the following series of correspondence between Rios and former Sirius/XM host turned subscription-podcaster Dino Costa.

Costa, who recently announced plans to move his program and family back to the New York area some two years after essentially channeling John Rocker in telling the region to fuck off, seems to have a hard time with someone passing up the opportunity to be sandbagged interviewed on his fledgling program :

The El Paso Chihuahuas’ Relentess Torment Of Jeff Francoeur Has Finally Come To An End

Posted in Baseball at 5:03 pm by

With San Diego promoting OF/P Jeff Francoeur this week, his former teammates in El Paso (PCL) might not have further opportunities to FUCK WITH HIM.  And as someone one who watched Smiling Jeff do-his-thing (and do it very badly) for the New York Mets, this strikes me as greatly disappointing.



Posted in Horse Racing at 11:47 pm by

(Editor’s Note : On handful of occasions over the years, beloved equine entertainer Mr. Ed has taken to CSTB to offer his innermost thoughts on the sport of kings.  Upon learning earlier today that a racehorse owned by Queen Elizabeth II had tested positive for morphine, Ed graciously forwarded the following excerpt from an item penned by the Guardian’s Tom Paley – GC)

Estimate (above, right), a five-year-old mare trained by Sir Michael Stoute, came second in the same race this year, and is one of five horses understood to have recorded a positive test for the banned substance. The palace said they believed the morphine had come via consumption of a contaminated feed product.

John Warren, the Queen’s bloodstock and racing adviser, said: “On Thursday 17 July the British Horseracing Authority announced that a number of post-race samples, obtained from recent race meetings, had been found to indicate the presence of morphine, which is a prohibited substance on race days. Five horses, under the care of various trainers, were affected.

“I can confirm that one of those horses was Estimate, the five-year-old mare trained by Sir Michael Stoute and owned by the Queen. Initial indications are that the positive test resulted from the consumption of a contaminated feed product. Sir Michael is working closely with the feed company involved to discover how the product may have become contaminated prior to delivery to his stables.”

Nash To Big Sexy : A Little Less Xenophobia, Thanks

Posted in Basketball, Sports TV, We Aren't The World at 6:59 pm by

Monday night, ESPN’s Jason Whitlock told colleague Keith Olbermann on the latter’s eponymous chat show that “Canadian athletes, I think, among NBA players and NBA people, perhaps don’t want it as much as even some of the Europeans, and certainly the American players.” Though Whitlock was speculating about the Cavs’ no. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, a pair of Canadians took rightful offense, including the country’s most decorated player. From the Canadian Press’ Dhiren Mahiban :

“It’s a wonderful sweeping generalization, really good. Hit it on the head there,” two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash said.

“I had to prove that I was athletic enough to play in the NBA,” said the Los Angeles Lakers point guard. “His (Wiggins’) athleticism isn’t a question, they’re worrying about his motivation and desire.

“Steve’s pretty tough to play and be able to do what he’s doing,” Triano said. “I think Tristan (Thompson) is a tough player. Robert Sacre is a tough player. Maybe we’ll go on this trip and drop the gloves a little bit and create that hockey mentality then we’ll define ourselves a little bit better.”


OKC : Seattle’s Championship Is Irrelevant

Posted in Basketball, The Marketplace at 11:51 pm by

(l-r : Lenny Wilkins, Downtown Freddie Brown, celebrating a moment the Thunder would prefer to ignore)

Starting next season, the NBA and licensee Adidas will affix a small gold Larry O’Brien Trophies on back jersey collars indicating how many championships a franchise has won.  In the case of the former Seattle Supersonics, the Oklahoma City Thunder would prefer to disregard a 1979 title, as The Oklahoman’s Cody Stavenhagen explains :

“As of right now, they are not wearing it,” NBA vice president of outfitting Christopher Arena said. “They actually would have had to have told us that some time ago, and that was their choice. We have several teams who have a lineage that exists prior to the city that they’re in …Some teams embrace that past, some teams don’t. Whether it’s because of ownership changes or perhaps the lineage is too great of a distance or the team nickname changed or whatever it may be, that’s their decision.”

Oklahoman reader Jonathan Moy comments, “Seattle has done nothing but throw hate towards OKC and the Thunder. Why in the world would OKC even consider acknowledging Seattle on the jersey? This was a good decision.” Yes, why can’t Seattle’s basketball fans learn to accept being fucked out of their basketball team and cultural history? What Seattle resident doesn’t watch Kevin Durant’s exploits and say to themselves, “so we’re denied a chance to host this otherworldly talent — at least he’s making Clay Bennett even wealthier.”


The Ricketts Family Cannot Bear The Actions Of A Rogue Mascot

Posted in Baseball, When Mascots Are Attacked, When Mascots Attack at 11:31 pm by

(above : anonymous schlub on the left, being shaken down for money by the unsavory character on the right)

Last summer, the Chicago Cubs’ objections to John Paul Weir’s unofficial Billy Cub enterprise were mentioned in this space, but on Friday, those gripes were elevated to a formal lawsuit filed in U.S. district court, as described below by the Chicago Tribune :

The team said John Paul Weier and Patrick Weier show up for games garbed in their “Billy Cub” outfits, including Cubs caps and jerseys, offering to have pictures and videos taken with fans.

But unlike the team’s real mascot, Clark the Cub, the two impostors “seek to hustle those same fans for ‘fees’ or ‘tips,’” the complaint said, adding that they deliberately try to create the impression they are officially associated with the team.

It said the men’s behavior was damaging to the goodwill of the Cubs and misleading to fans, some of whom complained to the team about the characters’ “inappropriate and unsavory” actions.

The lawsuit said the pair’s misconduct escalated to violence in April when Patrick Weier punched a man who had removed the head of Weier’s costume during a scuffle at a bar near Wrigley Field.

A Long, But Perhaps Incomplete List Of Acts Colby Lewis Might Find Selfish

Posted in Baseball at 11:16 pm by

Rangers SP Colby Lewis threw a highly publicized shit-fit after allowing a bunt single to the Blue Jays’ Colby Rasmus Saturday with the Toronto leading 2-0 and 2 out in the home 5th. Rasmus, who successfully avoided hitting into the shift, was probably as surprised as anyone to read Lewis’ remarks afterwards, suggesting that his opponent was purely motivated by personal gain (“I felt like you have a situation where there is two outs, you’re up two runs, you have gotten a hit earlier in the game off me, we are playing the shift, and he laid down a bunt basically simply for average,”). Lewis also suggested that if Rasmus wasn’t a selfish player, he’d have attempted to steal and get into scoring position.

Because Mr. Lewis is clearly overworked (it cannot be easy pitching for Texas and managing Toronto simultaneously — he’s obviously struggling with the former task), I have taken the liberty of making list of other things he’s likely to consider violations of baseball etiquette. Sporting a 6.73 ERA, I strongly believe the only thing stopping Colby Lewis from lecturing others on how to play the game the right way is time management.

1) Hit a solo HR in any situation besides game-tying or ending.
2) Drawing a walk when the bases aren’t loaded (or anytime your team is more than one run ahead)
3) Accepting an intentional pass without swinging at one of the outside pitches (are you some kind of pussy?)
4) Swinging during an intentional pass — is it really all about you?
5) Running out an infield grounder or pop up.
6) Wearing batting gloves.
7) Choking up.
8  Reach base on an error. What sort of gutless punk takes advantage of others’ simple mistakes?
9) Fouling off pitches with two strikes. ENOUGH ALREADY.
10) Looking at Colby Lewis when you’re in the on deck circle. WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU LOOKING AT?

Butkus + Meathead + Jim Rockford = TV Gold

Posted in Gridiron, The World Of Entertainment at 3:21 am by

On the sad occasion of the passing of James Garner, here’s a 1976 episode of “The Rockford Files” featuring Rob Reiner as an egomaniacal minor league (!) QB who just happens to be sitting on surreptitiously recorded mob conversations.


Tonight In Austin : If You Can Possibly Drag Yourself Away From The Night’s Hot Ticket, Consider The Civil Union

Posted in Austin, Rock Und Roll at 4:07 pm by

I realize almost every Austin person reading this either bought the tickets when they went on sale many months ago or has plans to give a scalper $200-$300 dollars to see The Mentors tonight but for the handful who’d rather see a band in their prime, Auckland, NZ trio The Civil Union are playing at RUBBERNECK‘s anniversary party at Beerland.

Not for the first time, I have to object to the blatant starfuckery taking place in this city. I couldn’t hear myself think amongst all the commotion at Justine’s last night as a mob scene formed around Sickie Wifebeater and Dr. Heathen Scum’s table.


Mario Lanza, Fuck Off : A Doc On Our Country’s Greatest Vocalist

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 3:50 pm by

“At an early age, I was gonna fuck shit up.” Long before the advent of the much beloved, award-winning Twitter account, John Brannon was scaring the shit out of folks, peeling-paint, etc. To say he’s not lost a step some 3 decades down the line doesn’t really sum it up —NATIONAL FUCKING TREASUE.


Vikings Blink, Kluwe-Foe Priefer Suspended

Posted in Gridiron at 10:14 pm by

On Friday, the Minnesota Vikings announced the 3 game suspension of special teams coordinator Mike Priefer following a 6 month investigation into claims by former Vikes P / marriage equality activist Chris Kluwe (above) that Priefer had repeatedly made homophobic remarks during practice.

While Minnesota plans to reduce Preifer’s suspension if he completes sensitivity training, no such re-education program has been prescribed for the readers of CBS Sports.com, who chimed with their reactions to Kluwe’s threats to sue the Vikings if the results of the Priefer investigation weren’t made public :


From Talking Chop To Frank Wren’s Ears : Cataloging The Many Ways Dan Uggla Sucked

Posted in Baseball at 2:08 pm by

Earlier today, the Atlanta Braves finally cut ties with the monumentally underachieving Dan Uggla, days after the second baseman served a one-game suspension for what was deemed “an internal matter”.   The decision to kick Uggla to the curb arrives shortly after Talking Chop’s Dan Simpson — careful to call the veteran second baseman, “a really nice guy and good teammate who has handled his benching in stride,” argued this was a wasted roster spot.

After much consternation from virtually every fan in Braves nation, Dan Uggla was finally pulled from the starting lineup for good when Tommy La Stella was called up at the end of May. Since that time, Uggla has only appeared in 7 games, 6 of which came as a pinch hitter. In those 7 games, he has gone 0-9 with 0 walks and 2 strikeouts. In each game, he posted a non-positive WPA, which means he didn’t help the team’s chance of winning in any game he played in.

The Braves finally realized they were only hurting the team by letting Dan Uggla start. So when will they realize that they are only hurting the team by letting him hang around? This isn’t a criticism of his statistics alone since his benching. After all, we all know that 9 plate appearances is a very small sample size. But Uggla is hitting .164/.237/.238 on the year, so it’s not like we’d expect him to show marked improvement on those 0-9 numbers in limited playing time off the bench.

This is all just a flowery and statistical way of pointing out what all of us already know: Dan Uggla sucks. He can’t hit and he can’t field.


If Only Jay Horowitz Could Teach Jonathan Niese To Be More Like Jay Horowitz

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York at 10:51 pm by

ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand tackled the current, kinda confusing state of the 2014 Mets earlier today, taking into account (amongst other things), 2nd class status compared to the Yankees, Fred Wilpon’s financial woes, the team’s plummeting attendance and (mostly) futile history.  Though the piece begins with a bag-of-shame-wearing Mets fan being ’86′d by Citi Field security, there is a happy ending courtesy of longtime PR director Jay Horowitz (above, left)…but not before Jonathan Niese puts his foot in it.

The other day at Citi Field, Jon Niese wondered where all the fans are these days.

“What do I think of Met fans?” Niese said with a laugh. “That’s a good question. I really don’t know except they want their team to win, pretty much like any other fan. That is pretty much all I know.”

When it was pointed out to him that Mets fans have stuck with their team through a lot of bad times, Niese questioned the sentiment.

“How can you say that?” Niese said. “We are not filling the stadium. Where are the Mets fans when we are down-and-out? They were here in ’06 and ’07 when we were really good, but we have struggled and they are not coming to the stadium.”

Horwitz reached out to the bag men, Sullivan and O’Donnell. He offered them front-row seats and a chance to attend batting practice for a game this season.

“To me, when the VP of media relations takes time out of his busy day to personally call me, a no-name fan, to apologize and offer me free tickets, it shows an admission of guilt on the part of the Mets but it also shows they care much more about their fans than I thought,” Sullivan said.

Jonathan Niese might not recall that in Citi Field’s inaugural season, 2009, The Mets sold nearly 3.2 million tickets to see a club that finished 70-92.

Q : Where Have All The Boot Boys Gone? A : McDonald’s

Posted in Food, The Marketplace at 9:37 pm by

Richard Michael Gossage once famously accused Padres/McDonald’s owner Joan Kroc of “poisoning the world” with her dubious burgers, but Goose probably couldn’t have predicted the day would come in which the vaunted fast food chain would find itself in (semi) vogue thanks to Sleaford Mods’ “McFlurry”.  Nor could the Mo Rivera-baiting Gossage have envisioned the image below (photo ripped off from Sean Gray) :


Pistol Packing Luke Scott Is Perilously Close To Making His Long Island Ducks Debut

Posted in Baseball at 5:38 pm by

Having already added birther, gun nut and race-baiter to his lengthy off-field resume, 9 year MLB veteran Luke Scott (above) has seen his short tenure in South Korea’s Korean Baseball Organization come to end after being kicked to the curb yesterday by the SK Wyverns. Scott, hampered by injuries for most of the 2014 season, “batted.267/.392/.505 while launching six homers and driving in 17 RBI in 130 plate appearances,” reports Vavel.com’s Anton Joe, prior to a fateful dispute with club manager Lee Man-Soo.

The heated exchange is believed to have been over the management of Scott’s injury rehabilitation. He had been rehabbing a foot injury that has kept him sidelined since July 4. Scott could reportedly be heard calling Lee a “coward” and a “liar” during their heated exchange.

According to Yonhap News, Scott later told reporters in the dugout that Lee and the management didn’t respect his own way of rehabbing and forced him to follow different steps.

The Wyverns made it clear that their decision to release Scott was in direct response to his actions, saying they felt he had “behaved in a manner that was detrimental to the team.”


WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Show : The Last Line Of Defense Between Sports Media & Gutless Bitches

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 11:40 am by

(video via Sports Grid, Mediaite)

That Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews failed to go Jim Gray on Adam Wainwright last night may or may not be the lowest moment in the history of sideline reporting (I’m gonna say it ranks somewhere in the middle). But putting Ms. Andrews’ interrogation skills or lack thereof aside for a moment or two, what sort of weird personal issues must these middle aged dudes (Kirk Minihane in particular) possess to go on the radio and repeatedly call Andrews a bitch, if not wish death upon her? To call this sort of broadcasting pandering is almost too optimistic.


Joel Sherman Congratulates The Mets On Building Around A Former Superstar

Posted in Baseball at 6:38 pm by

With the Mets heading into the All-Star break having won 7 of their last 8 and actually being on the periphery of both the NL East and Wild Card chases (not only is this glass half full, it’s 100 proof!), what kind of a churlish sort would dare suggest that 3B David Wright is pretty much washed up?  Enter the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, who wonders, “was (Wright’s) mostly tepid first half and lingering injury symbolic of a player now 31 and beginning his fade process, or was it just a tepid first half and standard injury regardless of age?”

Have the Mets wasted the prime of arguably their best homegrown position player ever with bad teams, bad finances and by constructing a stadium that diluted his power?

The Mets asked players such as Ike Davis, Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur to protect Wright in the lineup. They traded away Carlos Beltran. They didn’t re-sign his sidekick, Jose Reyes. And then there was the clownish and incompetent stuff, including misdiagnosing Wright and allowing him to play through a stress fracture in his lower back in 2011.

A player is generally considered in his prime from his mid-20s-to-30. And from 2009-2013, Wright played from ages 26-30. And the Mets joined the Astros as the only clubs in that five-season span to not generate a winning record.

The Mets asked players such as Ike Davis, Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur to protect Wright in the lineup. They traded away Carlos Beltran. They didn’t re-sign his sidekick, Jose Reyes. And then there was the clownish and incompetent stuff, including misdiagnosing Wright and allowing him to play through a stress fracture in his lower back in 2011.

Remembering The Handiwork Of Nomar’s Biggest Fan

Posted in Baseball, The Internet at 3:42 pm by

In light of the over-the-top tributes to Derek Jeter prior to tonight’s Midsummer Classic, let’s recall a year in which Jeter not only wasn’t elected the American League’s starting shortstop, there no shortage of sentiment (in New England, anyway) that Boston’s Nomar Garciaparra was every bit the eventual Yankee captain’s equal.

Five years before Garciaparra’s banishment to Wrigley Field, Carver MA resident Chris Nandor hacked MLB’s online voting scheme and voted for Nomar some 39,000 times. And while Garciaparra ended winning the starting spot by a margin so great that Nandor cannot be blamed for Jeter’s 2nd place finish, this particular bit of high-tech daring-do is hailed just the same by BostInno’s Hayden Bird :

Using the programing language Perl (Nandor later coauthored a book on it), he hilariously ran the “script” while grilling burgers one afternoon at his house. Amazing stuff, though it was eventually noticed by MLB website officials. Depressingly (for the officials), it took them two whole weeks to figure it out, even though all 39,000 of Nandor’s Nomar votes (along with the others) had the same email address and zip code.

The aspect of the whole thing is that dates it the most? Nandor accomplished his bit of hometown help by using a dial-up internet connection. Luckily, no one picked up the home phone while he was running his script.

Clearly the league learned from this experience, which like so many other major institutions, took some time to acclimate to the internet. Perl, the coding language that Nandor used to tip the scales in his favorite team’s favor, was (and still is) useful for tasks such as data-mining, or running scripts (which was done in this case to perfection prior to being noticed). That said, it’s been largely usurped in many of its original functions by more modern languages.


Exeter City’s Danny Coles Solemnly Promises To Stop Fighting With Children On The Internet

Posted in Football, Leave No Child Unbeaten, twitter twatter at 10:51 pm by

“I thought it was a massive overreaction by Danny Coles and I wasn’t expecting that reaction one bit. I just thought it was a bit of banter. I was quite shocked and I think as the captain of Exeter City he should act in a more responsible way.”  That’s the reaction of 14 year old Will Wenley, above, who after criticizing Coles via Twitter received a number of profane replies.  From the Exeter Express & Echo :

Coles’s Twitter account was subsequently been deleted and he quickly issued a full apology saying he felt “totally ashamed.”

“I would like to apologise unreservedly for my comments which appeared on Twitter,” he said. “I am not going to make any excuses, nor plead any mitigating circumstances: my behaviour was completely inappropriate and I am totally ashamed of my actions.

“As the captain of Exeter City FC, I know I should set a good example to the supporters, the players and the wider football community and in breaching the club’s social media guidelines I have let everyone down and embarrassed myself and the club, which prides itself on its family values.

“I have deleted my Twitter account and will be making sure that I impress upon the rest of the squad the importance of realising what damage ill-judged remarks on social media can do.”

What’s In A (NIck)name? Be Careful How You Ask Lance Hoyt

Posted in Professional Wrestling at 2:29 pm by

Lance Hoyt aka Lance Archer aka Vance Archer has a long and storied professional wrestling resume, including but not limited to stints with WWE, TNA, and a current tenure with New Japan.  None of that, however, entitles Hoyt to manhandle and threaten non-competitors, but he’s done both of those things in a pair of appearances for Austin’s Inspire Pro Wrestling.

Inspire Pro ring announcer Brandon Stroud, writing for Uproxx’s “Wrestling Buzz”, explains how Hoyt got in his face earlier this year when the former neglected to introduce the latter as “The American Psycho” (“we’re in America…what am I supposed to do, call him The Psycho?”).   Fast forward to June’s “Clash At The Bash” supercard, and Hoyt spat in Stroud’s face, which resulted in Brandon imploring Inspire Pro reigning champ One Man Mike Dell to “kick his (Hoyt’s) ass”.

Not only is Hoyt a stickler for getting nicknames right, but he’s got expectations of impartiality, too.


Mike Veeck’s 2005 Suggestions to Make The Cell Less Hellish

Posted in Baseball at 10:47 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE :  Seeing as yesterday marked the 35th Anniversary of Comisky Park’s ill-fated Disco Demolition Night, why not have a peak at the architect of that evening’s ruin and his ’05 suggestions to make U.S. Cellular Field a more hospitable place for White Sox fans?.  From CSTB, June 15, 2005,  “The Younger Veeck Surveys An Alleged Wreck” -GC)

Tackling US Cellular Field’s rep as a characterless, generic venue (though compared to Shea, it’s a palace), the Chicago Tribune’s William Hageman picks the brains behind Disco Demolition Night (also the innovator behind the less heralded “Vasectomy Night”) for ways to improve the White Sox experience. (thanks to Scott Comeau for the link.)

Ever since it opened in 1991, U.S. Cellular Field has been criticized as a sterile, fan-unfriendly “ballmall.” Despite renovations and upgrades, that reputation has stuck in the minds of many people. Even Mike Veeck (above), who hadn’t been to The Cell since the 2003 All-Star Game, “came prepared not to like it.” But his four-hour visit changed that.

“It ain’t the building,” he said at the end of the night. “I could never fault the building. This is a good building, a solid building. A fun building.”

Oh, he had numerous suggestions on ways to dress things up. Have more ivy climbing up bare walls. More splashes of color, maybe even adding a mural to the large concrete slab next to the LaSalle Bank sign in right field. More pictures on the main level concourse, similar to the collages on the upper concourse. And break up those long strings of flashing ads that hang from the upper level facade and run the length of the first- and third-base lines.

Give fans “the unexpected.”

“Little things. Write something on the concrete for no reason. In chalk, like a little kid wrote it. And people will start looking for it. Or have things projected on the concrete from above. Logos. Whatever.”

He’d also like to see something recognizing Harry Caray.

“The seventh-inning stretch thing [Caray's rendition of `Take Me Out To The Ball Game'] started here,” Veeck pointed out, meaning at old Comiskey. “With the Cubs’ revisionist history, in another 10 years Harry will never have sung here.

“Set up a booth, and you go in and sing with Harry. Make a tape. `You too, little Tommy, can sing with Harry.’ Split the money with charity. You can’t imagine the interest, in this town, in singing with Harry.”

Hire “ushertainers” — ushers who sing opera or do magic tricks. Maybe unfurl a large canvas, with people painted on it, from the roof over Section 557, making it look like the seats were full. Or work the ever-present gulls circling in the outfield into the show.

“Maybe get a radio-controlled blimp or something.”

To chase them?

“I don’t know. Actually, a radio-controlled bird would be funny.”

Then after a couple of minutes of silence, one last idea.

“And when they drag the infield, I’d use drag queens.”

A Veteran Of Some 50 Ramones Concerts, Gary Cohen Pays Homage To The Late Tommy Erdelyi

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York, Rock Und Roll at 6:15 pm by

While SNY’s Gary Cohen suggests The Ramones are “the most important band Queens has produced,” (if you think that’s damning the Bruddas with faint praise, you’re obviously not a big Leeway or Sick Of It All fan), colleague Keith Hernandez seems a tad less familiar with the group’s oeuvre. Still, “they had a good run,” Keith grudgingly admits.


Sandomir : Sports Illustrated’s Done A Wonderful Job (As LeBron’s Publicist)

Posted in Basketball, Sports Journalism at 9:03 pm by

While some in the sports media biz gave props to Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins for successfully getting the scoop on LeBron James’ return to Cleveland,  the New York Times’ Richard Sandomir is uncomfortable with arrangement, opining, “news value aside, the approach cast Sports Illustrated more as a public-relations ally of James than as the strong journalistic standard-bearer it has been for decades…while James’s words may have been all that the sports world wanted to hear, the magazine should have pressed for a story that carried more journalistic heft.”

Jenkins conceded that, in most cases, he would write a third-person story. But in James’s case, he said, “My biggest priority was his voice, not my subtext.”

For the magazine’s editors, there are no regrets that Jenkins delivered major news in James’s words. They did not know how he would write the story until they saw it Friday morning.

“This is excellent journalism,” said Christian Stone, the managing editor. “In cases like this, it’s beneficial to let the subject tell the story in his own words.”

Jenkins, who wrote the 2012 Sportsman of the Year cover story about James for Sports Illustrated, said he did not fashion James’s article/statement so much as stitch it together from quotes given during an interview Thursday night at James’s hotel room in Las Vegas.

Stone emphasized that James had imposed no conditions on Jenkins or the magazine, and had not been paid. So why not let Jenkins tell the story without handing James the platform for his unfiltered statement?