On Friday, Yankee manager Joe Girardi suggested that despite an onerous contract and prior achievements (albeit chemically-assisted) that dwarf those of all other active players, Alex Rodriguez — he of the multiple apologies earlier was week — was no sure thing for the Bombers’ Opening Day lineup. And he might be as washed up as he’s ethically challenged, YES Network analyst Suzyn Waldman insists she finds Rodriguez, “impossible to dislike.” From the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman :
“I’m not defending him. I think what he did was stupid more than anything else,” Waldman said. “I know he’s lied. He’s made every wrong decision. He says things and does things and you just want to say ‘Why?’ I also know you can’t go wrong for dumping on Alex. This is what it’s become. What’s he supposed to do?”
In the next breath, Waldman answered her own question. There’s nothing left for him to do, she said, but play baseball. She tisked-tisked all the talk of distraction, reminding the free world A-Rod is a walking one.
“The way this offense is (coming into spring training) they better hope he still can play,” she said. “Look, it’s not my job to psychoanalyze Alex. What I do, and sometimes don’t, understand is the anger directed at him. This just didn’t start with the steroids. His persona, for many people, has never been likeable.”
If Waldman sounds confused, keep in mind, she considers the likelihood of an A-Rod media circus in Tampa to be a positive (“they (the players) are probably going to like the distraction. Everyone will be in Alex’s corner of the clubhouse and not asking some pitcher why his elbow blew out.”)
(link courtesy Thomas Micklethwait of the spectacular Micklethwait Craft Meats).
Steve Earle Autographed Dollar bill “VERY RARE” Wont find anywhere (north austin)
Went to Steve’s Album release party and had the opportunity to talk with him and go eat at 24 hr downtown. He signed a dollar i had and said hes only ever remembered signing one other one before. I’m in a financial bind and willing to sale it for a decent price. can prove signing have pictures. call or text leaving Austin to go back home at 13:00 on a plane
serious cash offers only…also have his coffee mug ..would be willing to sell both for a decent price
The Hollywood Reporter’s Lesley Goldberg gushes that ABC is preparing “a buddy comedy set in the world of the NBA and centering on a rookie who doesn’t speak English and a translator who doesn’t speak basketball.” Hopefully, this upcoming series, featuring “Pitch Perfect” star Skyler Astin, will dispel many of the negative stereotypes..about translators. Or failing that, the band Translator, whom I always disliked but might actually be OK people for all I know.
Astin — who was fielding multiple pilot offers this season — will star as Jason, a sweet and slightly wimpy guy who was previously with the Peace Corps. A bit of a loser with no athletic prowess whatsoever,? Jason works as a teaching assistant and, while living in his ?parents’ basement, is tapped by the GM of an NBA team to be the translator for Mo, a new recruit from Botswana. A munchkin among giants in the world of professional basketball, Jason soon discovers that he’s being paid to be a lot more than just a translator. He also has to be the new player’s 24/7 guide/best friend/mentor and protector — and find a way to light a fire under this incredibly tall and talented athlete who seems to lack any drive.
(Editor’s Note : From time to time, noted Bronx baseball executive Randy L. visits CSTB to offer his insights regarding the event of the day, sporting and otherwise. After Alex Rodriguez released a handwritten letter of apology in lieu of a Nu Stadium press conference, Randy offered, well, he demanded to have his say – GC)
Dear Members of the Yankee Universe and those equally sickened by today’s events,
Under normal circumstances, I would welcome any piece of baseball news that would overshadow the retirement of a reprobate like Jason Giambi (say, Johnny Damon selling his pubic hair on eBay). But when our disgraced third baseman blows off a carefully arranged ceremony that I’ve spent hours….arranging….I’m fucking pissed. Do you have any idea how many strings I had to pull to get A-Rod’s peers (Tino, Jorge, Andy, Mo, Chyna, etc.) to sit alongside him and solemnly nod their heads as he begged forgiveness for the 13th or 14th time in the last decade?
That Alex would once again, take the coward’s way out, is about as surprising at this point as our General Manager asking MLB security to protect him from another jilted librarian. But a handwritten note! So now we’re on the hook for $60 million for a guy who can no longer hit, no longer field his position, but possesses lovely penmanship? Fuck me.
All of that said, I realize some of the younger consumers of sports media have never actually seen handwriting before, and they might require some assistance in order to make heads or tails out of Rodriguez’ sad letter. And that’s why you’re so goddamn lucky I’m here to spell it out for you>
“To the Fans,
I take full responsibility for the mistakes that led to my suspension for the 2014 season. I regret that my actions made the situation worse than it needed to be. To Major League Baseball, the Yankees, the Steinbrenner family, the Players Association and you, the fans, I can only say I’m sorry.”
Translation : “I’m a huge pussy who can’t remember how to spell Randy’s name or how to apologize to him.”
I accept the fact that many of you will not believe my apology or anything that I say at this point. I understand why and that’s on me. It was gracious of the Yankees to offer me the use of Yankee Stadium for this apology, but I decided the next time I am in Yankee Stadium, I should be in pinstripes doing my job.
Translation : “When you look up the word “punk” in the dictionary, there’s a picture of me. And I don’t mean ‘punk’ as in Patty Smyth or Richard Marx. I mean the bad kind of punk.”
I served the longest suspension in the history of the league for PED use. The Commissioner has said the matter is over. The Players Association has said the same. The Yankees have said the next step is to play baseball.
OK, enough with the translations. THE YANKEES “HAVE SAID THE NEXT STEP IS TO PLAY BASEBALL”? DON’T PUT WORDS IN MY MOUTH, YOU PIECE OF SHIT. THE NEXT STEP IS MY FOOT ON YOUR THROAT.
This game has been my single biggest passion since I was a teenager. When I go to Spring Training, I will do everything I can to be the best player and teammate possible, earn a spot on the Yankees and help us win.
Translation : I’m a pathological liar who’s been
sticking needles in his ass honing his ‘craft’ since high school. And because I’m a preening narcissist with no regard for his colleagues or paymasters, I have now guaranteed I’ll be an even bigger distraction in Tampa than I would’ve been otherwise.
2018 can’t get here fast enough.
yours in vengeance,
I’m not gonna be the 30,000th person today to suggest that maybe former Yankees 2B Chuck Knoblauch is not the kind of high-character person to be throwing stones (especially as he might not be able to get them over to the first baseman properly). But it does seem like this very public diss of Andy Pettitte is an awful lot of effort to return Knoblauch to the top of Non-Metallica K.O.’s shit list.
Video link courtesy the KC Star and Baseball Think Factory. Since Rockhurst doesn’t have a football program, we’re spared their take on what would’ve happened if Pete Carroll gave the ball to Marshawn Lynch on second-and-goal.
(image taken from Kaplan’s Korner)
I think deserve some credit for not recycling “What Part Of ‘They’re Broke’ Don’t You Understand?” for the 800th time, but full credit to the far more sophisticated Howard Megdal of Capital New York (above). Upon learning another round of distributions of recovered funds for victims of Bernie Madoff had been made available by a trustee, Megdal warns, “here are the numbers you have to actually remember, and what keeps Fred Wilpon and his partners up nights (and Wilmer Flores entrenched as a low-cost shortstop)” :
The Mets’ parent company, Sterling Equities, continues to finance the $250 million in debt against the team. Sterling also continues to finance more than $600 million in debt against SNY. Below is a partial schedule of what comes out of team revenues directly in twice-annual debt balloon payments for the next eight years.
June 2016 – December 2018: $21,950,000
June 2019 – December 2022: $22,000,000
The schedule continues like that through 2045.
It all means that the Mets are spending more on financing debt than they are on payroll.
So sure, it’s nice every time the Madoff trustee announces another victory, primarily because it helps people actually victimized by Bernie Madoff. But Mets ownership has far bigger numbers to worry about.
Which is also why you can safely dismiss the qualified comments by new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Wilpon finances. Notice that he insulates himself by claiming no knowledge of their ability to spend just before endorsing it.
On Thursday, ESPN’s Mets beat reporter Adam Rubin quoted ESPN NY host/YES radio play-by-play announcer Michael as claiming he’d sooner call Bombers games for “$1″ than accept a million to work for their crosstown rivals.
After suffering some social media abuse from Mets fans (and/or Mike Francesca acolytes), Kay insists he’s been quoted out of context and fed to the trolls. That’s unfortunate, because there’s one CSTB contributor who’s been in meetings all afternoon with legal counsel to determine if there’s anything legally binding about this $1 business.
John Wall is having the best season of his career. He is leading the league in assists and assists-per-game,is top five in double-doubles and will be a starter in this weekend’s All-Star game. And although the Wizards hope to replicate and surpass their playoff run from last season, the game that Wall’s legacy might be most connected to this season is the Miyah game.
In March 2013, Wall met Miyah Telemaque-Nelson, a 6 year-old recently diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma and hoping to meet her favorite rapper Nicki Minaj. Wall and Nelson became close, even after Miyah got to meet Minaj, they communicated frequently and Wall wrote her name on his sneakers for the entire season.
Just before playing the Boston Celtics on December 8th, Wall received a text message that Miyah Nelson had passed away. Often athletes are praised for their performance in the face of adversity, as we assume that through the sport they are provided the outlet for overwhelming emotion. But what the Miyah game showed about Wall’s vulnerability to be in the moment. His competitive nature kept his fight, but Wall struggled throughout the game. The Wizards only scraped together 9 fast break points, with Wall being one of the fastest players in the league, Wall also gave up 9 turnovers himself and defensively was unable to contain Marcus Smart with a career high 23 points. With aspects of his game falling apart, Wall put his assists together and had a career high 17. |
After the game Wall broke down in tears trying to describe what the game meant to him.
John Wall’s emotional release was a railroad spike eight feet deep in the ground for his fans. It signified no matter how his performance was each night, he now had a group of fans, locally and nationally, ready to dig deep into the earth to erase his presence from their hearts.
As the NBA shifts gears into its expensive spring break known as All Star Weekend, I’m going to enjoy watching John Wall play with the starters. I’m happy to watch the Wizards struggle their way into the playoffs for another year. I’m happy to watch John Wall continue to rise and shine to the daily games. But for this season, the last moment will be Wall in tears, a final burst of the taught string of his emotions the day his friend died.
Of the recent acquisition of disgraced OL Richie Incognito, a Buffalo Bills spokesperson promises, “we feel that he has taken the necessary steps to improve as a person and a teammate.” Speaking with the Buffalo News’ Tim Graham, Amanda Nickerson, director of the University at Buffalo’s Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention replies, “It feels like a slap in the face.”
“It’s a juxtaposition,” Nickerson said, “to have this center and knowing that most of the national attention Buffalo is getting right now is negative in regards to bullying.”
“Can people be redeemed? Should we give second chances?” Nickerson asked. “Absolutely, if we’re talking about a kid or a first offense.
“I’m concerned about it. If it was just Incognito’s issues from 2013, that would be one thing. But there’s been a history of aggressive and violent and demeaning behavior that is hard to ignore.”
Nickerson, who has a Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of South Carolina, noted it would be unfortunate if Incognito declined to participate in the Bills’ anti-bullying campaigns while here.
“If he’s not involved, then it would sound like people are covering for him,” Nickerson said.
“People should hear from him, and not just an empty message. What specifically has he learned from his past? What he done to take steps to change it? If he had treatment or intervention, how did it make him reflect on his behavior?”
February Is Black History Month, Not Yell Racial Epithets At A Security Guard Working A Kenny Chesney Concert Month
OK, that was the clumsiest headline in recent memory, but not nearly as clumsy as Eagles WR Riley Cooper being the pinup of choice for the month of February on Philly’s official team calendar. While the Eagles have apologized and issued the statement below, The 700 Level asks, “there weren’t 12 players more deserving than Cooper?” Well, it’s not as if Michael Richards or Jesse Helms are on the active roster.
“We do not oversee the production of the annual team calendar. We do not provide any input about the players who are featured or where those pictures appear in the calendar. The NFL licenses the production of that calendar to a third party and we do not have an opportunity to review the material.”
Free agency opens up teams more than ever to erode the ability of a player to stay put for his entire career. Couple that with so many players being familiar with each other from a young age from basketball camps and AAU teams, that the familiarity breeds companionship rather than competitiveness. That isn’t to say you don’t still have some rivalries that reach into the realm of irrational thought (Just ask a Grizzlies fan how they feel about the Clippers) but the time of the Celtics-Lakers is mostly over.
That’s where Lil B fits in. Weirdo rapper Lil B, known best for his proficient output, strange persona and his campaigning for all things to be “Based”, kind of surprised people when he came out saying he has “cursed” Durant and he will never win a championship. The Based God then followed up with a diss track of Kevin Durant called “Fuck KD”
The initial shot fired from KD was that he questioned Lil B’s rap skills, which is an argument made by many, many people, and then Lil B drew swords. Since then the curse has mostly held up, Durant has only had one finals appearance, did not win it and has suffered through a couple of injuries. Anytime Durant has a poor performance, the Curse is alive.
It works, in part because it’s a conflict that can never be resolved. Although Lil B has proclaimed his prowess in basketball, even trying out for a D League team, he won’t be able to match up against Durant on an NBA court to prove that he’s better. And it serves him better not too, by both guys bloviating on the sidelines, the conflict can arise to a fever pitch and get fans of neither or both involved to drag each other through the mud. It reeks of a well thought out wrestling card, by both men playing face and heel just enough to keep everyone guessing if the rivalry is legitimate.
But everything about it smells sincere. Durant is a powerful shooter, having lead the league in scoring twice and his teams lack of playoff success carries more to some bad bench units against a powerful Western Conference. He won last year’s MVP award and although he’s gotten a little saltier in the last couple of season, still seems to be well liked. So why would Lil B go after him unless he truly didn’t like him? The Based God spreads his love to many in the NBA, specifically lesser known players and even Durant’s teammate Reggie Jackson, but seems to hold things like defense and assists in high regard. (Just listen to his basketball themed mixtape Hoop Life ) And B has chided Durant for not being steeped in the fundamentals. Does he really just dislike his game and want to see him suffer? Or is this another strange gimmick in the Based World? Either way, it’s worth keeping an eye on both of them.
(EDITOR’S NOTE : read more of Andy Livingstone’s work at Elevator Doors, or follow him on Twitter : @elevator_doors)
(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, noted Bronx baseball executive Randy L. checks in with CSTB offering his deepest thoughts on the issues of the day, sporting and otherwise. Following yesterday’s news that Alex Rodriguez had offered apologies to Yankees ownership and management for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, Randy offered, well, he insisted on having his say – GC)
“Sad, so sad
It’s a sad, sad situation
And it’s getting more and more absurd
It’s sad, so sad
Why can’t we talk it over
Oh it seems to me
That sorry seems to be the hardest word”
With the possible exception of The National’s Matt Berninger , Elton John and Bernie Taupin remain my favorite songwriters…but how could they have known, some 38 years ago, the above lyrics would summarize all-too-well, a situation so tragicomic, so pathetic, that even Jim Leyritz pities Alex Rodriguez? I’m usually not one to say, “I told ya so,”, but yesterday’s appearance of a timid, deferential A-Rod in our offices couldn’t have been in more stark contrast to the preening, arrogant legend-in-his-own-mind who had paraded thru the Yankee clubhouse before his banishment. Imagine, if you will, Freddie Mercury on stage,in his prime, suddenly morphing into Brian Cashman in the bedroom.
Now that I’ve got that sad image stuck in your fucking brains, get a load of this : during Tuesday’s apology tour, I couldn’t even get this 40-something Eddie Haskell-wannabe to look me squarely in the eyes. Sure, he hugs Hank Steinbrenner, weeps on the shoulder of Cashman, but was there any personal expression of regret towards the one man who has always been there as a real confidant? Of course not. Keep in mind, we’re dealing with a zero character individual here. The sort of person who’d throw a family member under the bus to save his own skin. The sort of man who’d turn his back on the lovely and talented Torrie Wilson, who clearly sacrificed any number of boat show and supermarket opening bookings in order to be by Alex’s side.
But I’m not the sort to hold a grudge. I know the Yankee Universe is more concerned with my campaign to return the franchise to glory than with any nickel & dime bullshit related to one fraud’s attempts to compile gaudy personal statistics. I pledge to each and every one of you that I’m ALL IN for 2015 and nothing is going to break my concentration, not our General Manager’s misadventures with this website, nor Mr.Rodriguez forwarding me a bill for some $32,000.00 for services rendered by a physical therapist. While the simpering fools I’m surrounded by continue to betray your trust, take the easy way out and provide flimsy “apologies” after they’ve fucked up, isn’t it great to know your pal Randy is still standing up for THE YANKEE WAY in an era when no one else gives a shit?
THANK ME IN OCTOBER,
Though James Dolan’s receiving considerable grief for calling an elderly Knicks fan a drunk, keep in mind, Blackpool chairman Karl Osyston recently took to Twitter to call one fan “a massive retard” and announce the latter was banned from attending future matches. On Monday, The Mirror’s Aaron Flanagan reported that Oyston and brother Owen (above, right) are suing an online fan forum over “derogatory comments”.
The Back Henry Street website stated, “to clear up any rumours, on Thursday 5 February 2015, Back Henry Street was served papers from the court, relating to the Oystons’ and Blackpool Football Club’s intent to seek damages for six allegedly defamatory comments made on the site in 2014, limited collectively at £150,000.
“For obvious reasons, we can not go into any more detail at this time. Thank you for your continued support.”
Of Knicks owner James Dolan’s recent ill-advised decision to call an aggrieved fan an alcoholic and invite said supporter to “root for the Nets”, Carmelo Anthony said, “we all have those moments” (and for Melo, such moments include calling a Twitter critic, “glazed donut face”). Sadly, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was every bit as sympathetic to the Cablevision CEO, telling the New York Daily News’ Frank Isola there’s no precedent for censuring an owner for being an asshole.
“Players, league executives and owners historically have not been disciplined for similar outbursts,” Silver told the Daily News on Tuesday. “As I said, he reacted in an emotional, impassionate way to a direct criticism of him. That’s not the kind of behavior that traditionally commissioners have become involved in.”
Earlier Monday, Silver called Dolan’s reaction an example of the controversial Knicks and Rangers owner being a “consummate New Yorker.”
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.
When we last heard from W*A*S*P* guitarist / “Decline Of Western Civilization, Pt. II” star Chris Holmes, he was bemoaning the way “gangster rap” and baggy trousers had relegated his chosen profession to the level of “pussy music”. Perhaps after getting a pep talk (from I dunno, Joey Welz?) Holmes has given up his attempts to become the Simon Frith of the 2010′s, instead debuting the solo video below (link courtesy Metal Injection) :
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?
Nas is all like, “who invited Jerry Lewis to the party and why are we talking him shopping?”
Every now and then, a handful of collected quotes from a Friday press conference fails to truly convey the tone of the discussion.
“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 Fountain
Of 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.
Mike’s sister wrote the obituary that appeared today in The Spokesman-Review. His brother-in-law added the line about the Seahawks, Stephanie Vedvik says.
“My husband would have thought it was hysterical,” she says. “If I had read this obituary to my husband about somebody else, he would have had a laugh.”
She adds of the sentiment contained in that last sentence, “It was just so true because my husband would have said, ‘What a dumbass.’” – Addy Hatch, Spokane Spokesman-Review