Liverpool F.C.’s planned expansion to longtime home Anfield comes after the club scrapped plans to build a new stadium on Stanley Park ; Liverpool City Council is currently attempting to purchase neighboring homes, but as the Guardian’s David Conn explains, many locals are “filled with anger and heartbreak at the area’s dreadful decline and at the club for deepening the blight by buying up houses since the mid-1990s then leaving them empty” (“their resentment is compounded by the fact that they are being forced to move so that Liverpool, and their relatively new US owner, Fenway Sports Group, can make more money)”.
Residents’ bitterness derives from when the club started buying houses in Lothair Road, without saying they were doing so or making their intentions clear. The club used an agency to approach some residents, while some houses were bought by third parties then sold on quickly to the club. That left residents with the belief, which has endured ever since, that Liverpool were buying up houses by stealth, to keep prices low.
The club have never publicly explained in detail what they did, and declined to answer the Guardian’s questions about their historic behaviour and current plans. Neighbours, many of whom have lived in Anfield for decades, remembering a vibrant, flourishing area, believe Liverpool bought and left houses empty to deliberately blight the area, intending it would prompt people to leave and drive house prices down.
Fenway Sport Group’s current plan envisages expanding the Main and Anfield Road stands, with both sides of Lothair Road, and one side of Alroy Road, demolished. A hotel is proposed behind the enlarged Main Stand on the footprint of Lothair Road’s even side and Alroy, because a commercial property does not have the same right to light as homes. A development, probably bars and restaurants, with training promised for young people, is proposed opposite the corner of the Kop and Centenary Stand. With Liverpool having purchased a whole row on Anfield Road, they have already knocked those houses down, so there is no obstacle to enlarging that stand.
James McKenna, chair of the Spirit of Shankly supporters’ union, says the fans have sympathy for the club’s neighbours. “The stadium expansion is all about the club making more money, and fans will have to pay more for tickets,” McKenna says. “To do that, Liverpool have played a part in derelict houses, streets boarded up. It’s a blot on LFC’s record.”
The above image was posted to J.R. Smith’s instagram account earlier today, shortly after the Knicks dropped a 102-95 decision to the Pacers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Previously, Smith followed a 4 for 15 shooting performance with the tweet, “First an for most I wasn’t clubbing before the game so y’all can kill that. Don’t try an find reasons when I miss shots! #HopOff.”
OK, I’ll admit when I see a headline reading “Baseball Coach Disappears With 20K”, my first thought was, “shouldn’t Wally Backman be refered to ‘manager’?” Fortunately for the Las Vegas 51′s, Wally has nothing to do with the following story, as MiNBC’s Josh Marshall reports a coach for the Great Lakes Cyclones youth baseball squad has gone MIA with dough from the team’s fundraiser.
“We trusted him as a baseball coach and I could never see him doing this kind of thing,” said cyclones player Caleb Roumayeh.
Cyclone players and family are concerned for the future of their season.
They say more than 20 thousand dollars is gone along with any contact with the coach who was in charge.
“He was nowhere to be found his email were coming back undeliverable his phone has been disconnected his Facebook was gone and he pretty much just vanished with all the money,” said Renee Ray.
Today, the team hit the diamond to do what they know best.
“They want to play ball they want to be out here and enjoy it but our kids the last few days have been through a lot,” said Coach Larry Green.
“We trusted him as a baseball coach,” said Roumayeh.
The team faced with fees and insurance for the kids is fighting an uphill battle; however, with help from the community the team is staying afloat keeping family members hopeful.
As of this writing Chicago has seen a 17 point halftime lead over Brooklyn cut to 7 points midway thru the 3rd quarter of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals Game 7 at the Barclays Center. If you’re one of the many observers who’ve seen the Bulls relinquish a 3-1 series lead that thought, “imagine where the Bulls would be if Derrick Rose was on the floor”, rest assured ROSE CANNOT HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS. Nor can he read your tweets, hear your calls to sports radio or read the captions of your Bleacher Report slideshow, “Top Ten Ways To Make Joakim Noah & Nate Robinson Do All The Heavy Lifting”. Because, as the former MVP tells the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson, he’s above such drama.
“That’s my first time hearing about it,” Rose said of the certain critical fan contingent. “I barely turn on the TV. I’m with my son all day. So that’s about it.
“I’m feeling about the same, still being patient, still trying to take care of my body and just trying to enjoy this time and cheer on my teammates.”
Rose said there’s no benefit to announcing that he’s out for the season and said watching playoff games in street clothes has been difficult.
“It has been hard,” he said. “But I’m able to get past it, knowing that my teammates are out there playing hard, giving the game everything they got. That’s all I can ask for. Who knows? It’s still in the air where I’m still trying to be positive and still trying to take care of my body.”
Rose said the organization, teammates or coaches haven’t pressured him to play and he is making the decision alone. Asked about the perception that his inner circle of older brother Reggie Rose and agent B.J. Armstrong has influenced his decision, Rose acted incredulously.
“Who said that? If anything, it’s up to me,” Rose said. “My brother and them can’t tell me what to do with my body. They give me control. I’m in control of the whole process. It’s really all on me.”
Asked what the benefit of sitting the entire season is, Rose said: “Being healthy. Health-wise, if I do take the whole year off and don’t play anymore, I know I’m going to come back a better player. I guess my body will be healed more but who knows?”
But I digress. Salon’s Kate Harding threw a media pundit shit-fit over the AP’s 2009 Female Athlete Of The Year poll, one in which Breeders Cup winner Zenyatta finished a distant second to Serena Williams, and Belmont Stakes victor Rachel Alexandra came in 7th behind UConn hoops standout Maya Moore. And to be totally truthful, I was disappointed in the AP’s results, too. No love for soccer thug Liz Lambert? Zero recognition for South African track and field pioneer Caster Semenya? Clearly, these AP voters care even less about women’s sports than this blog’s publisher.
However, that’s not the source of Harding’s gripe. “I can’t help noticing,” she wrote “that Zenyatta and Alexandra are not human, which — call me speciesist — is something I usually expect from an ‘athletes of the year’ list. Perhaps if the AP folks had given the subject a bit more thought, they might instead have chosen to honor, say, Rosemary Homeister, who in 2009 became the second most successful female jockey of all time. Or, you know, any other two women in sports, leaving Zenyatta and Rachel to duke it out for Horse of the Year. Something more like that?”
I’m sorry, but did we learn absolutely nothing this year from “District 9″? Much the way great sportspersons/pioneers such as Semenya, Renee Richards and John Kruk have forced the world to reconsider outdated gender roles, maybe the AP ought to be applauded for looking past something as ultimately trivial in 2009 as species? Certainly Harding has a point when complaining none of the male athletes on their 2009 list had to share the top ten with horses, but that list is a farce, too! Some jumpsuit-wearing d-bag driving around in a circle is a better athlete than than this glorious competitor? I (fucking) think not.
There’s some precedent for the AP’s ranking horses alongside humans. Secretariat only finished 6th amongst male athletes in 1973, despite winning the Triple Crown. Naturally, the human-biased sports media sided with such flash in the pans as Hank Aaron, Bill Walton and some nobody named O.J. Simpson. Apathy towards female athletics is regrettable, sure. Maybe even inexcusable if you fancy yourself a halfway intelligent sports fan. But must Harding diminish the achievements of my stall sisters just to advance her own horse-hating agenda?
Hey, Everybody! It’s been a while since your jerkface editor —- a man so disliked, this blog’s Ballhype ranking will soon be higher than Barry Zito’s jersey number —- allowed me to bring my wit and wisdom to CSTB. And I sincerely wish he wouldn’t bother! While the rest of you are watching “Around The Horn” and pondering another night ALONE, I’m producing future generations of champions. I’m like the Marv Marinovich of horses.
But I digress. I was all set to provide my Belmost Stakes predictions when someone provided me with a clip of WFAN’s Chris Russo talking trash about my boy, Big Brown. I’d like to know, where does this mental midget get off questioning the smarts of a superior athlete who’s just one race away from the Triple Crown, merely because he’s a horse?
WFAN’s website provides no information regarding Russo’s SAT or Wonderlic scores, and curiously his years at Oxford are totally ignored in his biography. But if the station employed a host that mocked Jews, Women, African-Americans, Diet Coke-addicted Fatso’s or Southside Johnny by challenging the intellectual capacities of any of the above, advertisers would be very quick to leave a sinking ship. Clearly, WFAN management has learned nothing from their previous mistakes. It’s a very short gallop from “nappy headed ho’s” to “carrot-eaters” and I’m appalled that no one else covering this nonsense —- Mushnick, Best, Raissman, I’m calling you guys out — found this worthy of critique.
Hey, everybody! It’s been a while since your jerkface editor — a man so disliked, he couldn’t even weasel his way into this tournament — allowed me to bring my wit and wisdom to CSTB. And I sincerely wish this message was coming to you under happier circumstances.
You might’ve missed it while looking for pictures of that pole vaulter, but ESPN has a dramatization about my old friend Ruffian on their schedule for this coming Saturday night right after the Belmont Stakes.
It seems a great shame to me that all of the parties involved cannot come together and agree on what is entirely obvious to this veteran of both the show biz and equestrian worlds ; Tom Sizemore is a terrible choice to play Ruffian, and for that reason alone, the film should be scrapped.
Anyway, I’ve taken way too much of your time. Maybe I’ll be asked back the next time someone breaks a leg in public and has to be put down? But enough about Nick Johnson!
Hey, everybody! As a long time reader of CSTB, I’m honored to finally have a chance to contribue to this fine forum. I’ve been telling Wilbur for years that I deserved a blog of my own, but he keeps stealing all of my great ideas. Sad enough that he tried to pass himself off as a baseball know-it-all to my close personal pal, Leo Durocher, but now it’s Ed’s time to shine!
Anyhow, like many of you, Wilbur and I cracked open a couple of cold ones late yesterday afternoon and prepared to watch NBC’s coverage of the Preakness Stakes. Every year, Wilbur accuses me of having a crush on Bob Neumeier and frankly, that joke got old the first time. Can’t a horse admire a man’s head of hair without some jackass making all sorts of “bareback mountain” references?
But I digress. Unless you’ve been living under a rock or you edit CSTB, you’re aware that Preakness favorite / Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro suffered a terrible injury yesterday and might soon be euthanized. Or murdered, as I like to call it. Did anyone suggest having Bo Jackson put down when he no longer had anything to offer the sporting world?
I’m not gonna tell you I was a big fan of Barbaro going into this year’s Triple Crown, but like I said to Wilbur at brunch yesterday, anyone named after the former drummer for Babes In Toyland is a-ok with me.
I was trying take my mind off yesterday’s tragic events with a little light web surfing last night, and I came upon the following headline from what I’m told is supposed to be a “funny” sportsblog :
I’m sorry, but I just don’t get it. I’m as open minded a horse as you’ll find, and I enjoy the odd bit of “edgy” humor down at the stable just like anyone else. For instance, that Joe Rogan guy. F-U-N-N-Y! But this sort of joke is just nonsensical. For one thing, Barbaro wasn’t cheating, he was just trying to get a little edge on the competition. Certainly no worse than Barry Bonds, who somehow managed to get a standing O from A’s fans yesterday. And the fried rice jibe is just sick. Newcomers to this great country have it tough enough as is without insensitive creeps implying their cusine is based on dubious ingredients.
I can’t for the life of me understand how anyone, let alone an award winning blogger like this Mighty MJD fella, would so relish the suffering of another living creature. He’d better hope he never crosses my path, or I’ll put a hoof up his ass.
While the everyday behavior of Andrew Bogut is amazingly not enough to shake Golden State head coach Mark Jackson from his belief in G-d, Jackson’s former teammate / current TNT analyst Reggie Miller couldn’t resist the opportunity last night to congratulate the Warriors on their ouster of Denver. If you wondering when was the last time you saw a working hoops commentator — or one from any sport for that matter — hug one of the participating coaches and offer such a stirring tribute while the playoffs are still happening, that might be because no television journalist in their right mind would do such a thing.
OK, that’s not really what former NY Times’ columnist Murray Chass has to say to baseball historian/collector and former half of 3rd Bass, Peter Nash, but there is considerable irony in the former’s tarring the latter as a mere blogger who “has no and needs no accountability…free to write whatever he wants and the object of his viciousness has no recourse”, especially given Murray’s impossible to avoid boner for Mike Piazza.
The biggest mystery about Nash’s operation is how he has eluded criminal charges. Obviously, no one who might have had reason or grounds to file a complaint has chosen to do so. The Brooklyn, N.Y., district attorney didn’t even initiate charges against Nash’s father after a 2008 audit found that he had helped himself to $52,551 from a development fund at Brooklyn’s Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School
Ray Nash, who had been president of the school since 2001, resigned in June 2012, ending a 48-year association with the school. The D.A. said his investigation found no evidence of criminal intent, as if secretly taking someone else’s money without permission doesn’t represent criminal intent.
What was the elder Nash’s intent in taking the money? He took it to give to his son so he could avoid foreclosure on his Cooperstown, N.Y., home.
People have gone to jail for taking less than $50,000 that didn’t belong to them. It’s called theft or embezzlement, but Ray Nash very likely escaped prosecution because of his prominence in the community. Had the father been prosecuted, it was likely that the son also would have been as the recipient of the appropriated money.
“When they got caught taking money unauthorized, Nash took memorabilia and got a loan against the memorabilia,” Robert Lifson, owner of Robert Edward Auctions related. “He sold or pawned this memorabilia, and the school took the proceeds of the memorabilia.”
However, Lifson said, the memorabilia belonged not to Nash but to him, and Lifson sued the school for the money. “We settled,” he said. “They gave me all the money, $53,000.”
In the wake of the Mets’ come-from-behind, 7-6 win in Miami this afternoon, Metsradamus hails Jordanny Valdespin’s 3-run blast and argues, “maybe it’s high time to reward him with more at-bats” (“who else is going to get the at-bats … Mike Baxter?…get Valdespin in there and let him take selfies and put his finger in the air like he just don’t care”). Said constructive suggest comes hours after the Bergen Record’s Bob Klapisch dubbed manager Terry Collins, “an honest guy, good with people” but not quite, “a master tactician.”
Collins, no dummy, knows he would’ve already received a vote of confidence, even in private, if Alderson and Jeff Wilpon were entirely sold on his body of work. Both men know what job security — or its absence — does to a manager’s standing in the clubhouse. Without a commitment from ownership, Collins looks like a short-timer on a bad team, a latter-day George Bamberger. The current six-game losing streak, including embarrassing back-to-back losses to the Marlins, doesn’t help his cause, either.
So what’ll it take for Collins to avoid being fired, even before the end of the season? A more robust roster would help, obviously. In the meantime, he has to prove to the front office that the Mets are listening to him, and that he’s relevant enough to relate to the next wave of stars — particularly Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Travis D’Arnaud.
Collins’ relationship with David Wright is solid, as it should be. But just as Davey Johnson had built-in ties with Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry and Ron Darling, among others, in 1984, it’s Wally Backman, not Collins, who has a head start with the 20-somethings who’ll be at Citi for the rest of the decade.
Given that Ike Davis has now hit .180 or lower in two consecutive Aprils, perhaps the Mets would be better served denying he came out of their organization? Still, if they’re trying to sell tickets for a not-so-appealing midweek interleague contest, the above shirt is slightly more appealing than one reading “OUR OUTFIELD IS A MONUMENTAL EMBARRASSMENT” on the front, and “I WISH I WAS DEAD” on the back.
(the late Larry Miller, shown during a rare moment when he wasn’t encouraging his players to come out of the closet)
In the past day and a half since Jason Collins announced to the world that he buys dogs from Mike Miller is gay, those who’ve found fault with the story have mostly centered on issues of sexuality and morality. Writing for The Guardian on Tuesday, columnist Jason Farago took an altogether different tact, alternately bemoaning the media diss of Martina Navratilova and Brittney Greiner (“It’s slightly embarrassing to see how many adjectives were required to assign the requisite significance to Collins’s coming out: the first active (1) male (2), openly (3) gay player in a major (4) American (5) team (6) sport..none of those, somehow, mattered to Sports Illustrated, which had the gall to headline its cover story on Collins as ‘The Gay Athlete’ – complete with definite article, as if he was the only one”) and what he considers to be a cynical cash-grab.
Why has the coming out of one talented but not tremendously distinguished player, a free agent for goodness’ sake, mattered so much more than those of gold medalists and World Cup champions? Well, why does anything matter in America? The NBA and the other American pro leagues are where the money is, and far from discouraging disclosures like Collins’, teams and advertisers are now practically begging athletes to come out – salivating at the marketing potential of a gay man in the pros. Brendon Ayanbadejo, an advocate for gay equality in football, told a reporter this month that studios already have movie scripts ready to go. Asked about the prospects of a gay player in the NBA, the unctuous Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said, “It would be a marketing goldmine for all involved.”
Even the homophobes are starting to get that. Tim Hardaway, who “let it be known” that he hates gays, got banished from the NBA’s all-star game and saw his endorsements evaporate. This week, Brittney Griner, probably the highest-profile gay athlete in America, disclosed that she had inked a major endorsement deal with Nike. She wouldn’t say how much it was worth, only that it was “big time”. Jason Collins, now at the tail end of his career, probably won’t enjoy the same golden benefits, but somebody in the NBA or the NFL will very soon. Is that something to celebrate? Of course it is, on one level: sport is more than just a spectacle, and every action that makes gay life more visible is worth taking.
But while Collins has done something right and brave, the PR flood that’s accompanied it should remind us that sport is not some pure land of athletic contests, but a multibillion-dollar industry whose motivations are not exactly altruistic. We should all respect and celebrate gay achievements – but I fear the real desire for openly gay athletes comes from a hunger to sell sneakers.
I’m gonna presume that despite bragging he has “no special interest in the glossy corporate spectacle of American sport”, Farago has some inside sources in the front offices of NBA franchises. Otherwise, I’d be slightly surprised to learn the Utah Jazz are breathing down players’ necks, “practically begging” them to come out.
How should a major commercial broadcaster handle the following scenario : one of soccer’s top managers — a telegenic, quote-factory and a subject of major fascination throughout the continent, but particularly in England —- gifts you with the scoop that he won’t be returning to Real Madrid in the summer?
If you’re ITV, the answer’s pretty simple. PULL THE PLUG and get out of dodge.
ESPN hoops reporter Chris Broussard (above) wasn’t quite ready to declare free agent C Jason Collins an American hero for the latter’s coming out yesterday afternoon, with Broussard adding that adulterers, fornicators and those engaging in pre-marital sex are Collins’ teammates “in opposition to God”. But enough about Steve Phillips, while most reasonable persons not named Bubba Watson found Broussard’s religious fervor a tad out of place in the middle of an “Outside The Lines” broadcast, serial doomsday predictor Pat Robertson has his back. From The Raw Story’s David Edwards :
“Somehow we’ve said if it’s heterosexual fornication, it’s bad; if it’s homosexual fornication — that used to be called an abomination in the Bible — now it’s a protected civil right,” Robertson said. “And so somebody that says that that kind of conduct is sinful is now being pilloried in the press. He’s telling the truth! This is what the Bible says!”
The TV preacher pointed out that “these media types” who were criticizing Broussard had chosen “a lifestyle that takes them outside the protection of God.”
“You can’t tell them if they want to go to hell or heaven, that’s their business,” he declared. “But don’t tell somebody that he can’t speak specifically about what the Christian faith says about certain conduct. There isn’t anything bigoted about that.”
“So, our hat’s off to somebody who’s brave enough to say it. But, whew, let’s hope the people at ESPN will man up and defend their guy for speaking what is truth.”
In which the Chicago Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley proves he’s fully capable of inserting himself squarely into the story in more than one professional sport. It would be simplistic to say Cowley lit a fire under The Fighting Yormarks Of Atlantic Avenue…but I’ve been waiting WEEKS to call the Nets the Fighting Yormarks Of Atlantic Ave., so this will have to do.
ESPN poker anaylst / Washington Post columnist Norman Chad notes that Michael Jordan was married for the 2nd time this past weekend, shortly after Kobe & Vanessa Bryant announced their reconciliation and LeBron James confirmed his engagement to girlfriend Savannah Brinson. Speaking from his own personal experience, Chad writes, “it is so depressing, and devastating, to watch our best and our brightest athletes throw away their future time and again by conforming and capitulating to a broken-down American institution?” (“If you back down a defender, then put up a fadeaway, turnaround jumper that keeps bouncing off the side of the backboard, you stop taking that shot, right? So why do these great, savvy athletes keep walking down the doomed aisle to matrimony?”). We’ll have to presume Norman was not invited to the Jordan/Prieto wedding, but who amongst us wouldn’t want to see Charles Oakley’s reaction if Chad had voiced any of these sentiments out loud?
This remains one of the few areas in life in which Couch Slouch has PhD-like credentials. I am the Stan Musial of husbands — conjugally speaking, I am considered a two-time loser, but in baseball, my .333 batting average would put me in the Hall of Fame.
Be like Mike? Are you kidding me? No. Guys, guys, guys — be like Hugh Hefner. And, hey, I guarantee you the most interesting man in the world — that deliciously debonair Dos Equis fella — has never been married.
MJ was married for 17 years to his wife Juanita. Their divorce settlement reportedly cost him $168 million. Frankly, I believe this was karmic payback: MJ got away with a massive push-off against the Jazz’s Bryon Russell before hitting the winning shot in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals; nine years later, his ex-wife got away with her own beneficial “legal” contact.
Keith Moreland remembers getting beer thrown at him as he walked off the field that day. Elia was right behind him.
“I got angry, started to lunge, and he said ‘Go on,’ and all the way down the line he was just ranting and raving. I thought he was mad at me,’’ the Cubs radio analyst said.
But Elia was angry at the fans. His rant moments later was triggered by a question from an out-of-town reporter asking if he thought the fans were still backing the team.
“There’s no question that if it happened today, he would have been fired that night,’’ said Bob Ibach, then the Cubs’ director of media relations.
In fact, general manager Dallas Green was ready to dismiss Elia after hearing the tape — and would have but for a chance circumstance that saw Elia in his office when Green called.
“There were no cellphones of course, and Lee told me later he had left because he was supposed to be a celebrity umpire for his daughter Tania’s softball game,’’ Ibach said. “But he left his keys in his office, came back and heard the phone.
“Had he left, Dallas would have fired him that night.’’
Instead, a mortified Elia listened to the tape and realized what his words sounded like.
“Lee told me years later ‘I was never good at math,’ ’’ Ibach said, Elia cursing “15 percent of fans’’ when he was thinking about those 15 to 20 he had just encountered.
Anyhow, good to know that Broussard’s gripes aren’t merely limited to those living the “homosexual lifestyle”, but also those who engage in “adultery, fornication ..premartial sex between heterosexuals”. That pretty much covers 100% of everyone the ESPN hoops analyst will be covering the rest of his career, not to mention his colleagues and employers. Unless AC Green has some plan we’ve not heard of to start his own 24-7 sports network, Chris Broussard might find acceptance far harder to come by than Jason Collins.
What might provoke a person in Collins’ line of work to come forward with this proclamation? “I have no idea,” grumbled Francesa, who seems to consider the intrusion of, y’know, real life, on his program, a huge annoyance. “I’d rather talk about the quarterback”, said the “Mike’d Up” host, presumably referring to Gino Smith. Or Tim Tebow. Or Mark Sanchez. Or Greg McElroy. Or David Garrard. One of those guys