03.26.14

Bill Plaschke Cannot Wait To See Don Mattingly Bench The Guy Who Saved His Job

Posted in Baseball at 8:09 pm by

Dodgers OF Yasiel Puig had a poor September, followed by reporting to camp overweight and looking lost at the plate (until Saturday’s defeat of Arizona in Sydney, a game that actually counted).  You might think Puig’s nearly as washed up as Derek Jeter from the nearly hysterical tone adopted by the LA Times’ Bill Plaschke (above), who all but accuses Dodgers management of ordering manager Don Mattingly to take it easy on the young phenom disgrace-to-the-game.

One of the reasons Mattingly commands so much respect in the clubhouse and the community is that he’s so real. But in talking about Puig, he almost sounded rehearsed, and one wonders if he was asked to chill out by the highest levels of the Dodgers front office — a place that uses Puig’s signing as a point of pride and continually protects and empowers him.

A member of that front office said Tuesday it would be outrageously wrong to report that any official has ever attempted to influence Mattingly’s comments. But, given the marketing department’s huge investment in promoting Puig, the wonder persists.

Nobody on the Dodgers has ever really told Puig no. That’s what created this problem, and that’s what could turn it into a season-threatening clubhouse distraction if it’s not fixed.

Mattingly has a chance to fix it. He has the job security to do it. He has the potential outfield surplus to do it. He clearly has the stomach to do it.

Here’s hoping Mattingly feels the freedom to do it. For the Dodgers to work, Mattingly needs to be able to bench Puig without apology, hold him accountable without clarification, and run a professional dugout that accepts no excuses.

03.25.14

Hall On The No Fun League’s Transition Into The Even Less Than No Fun League

Posted in Gridiron at 10:54 pm by

Now that the NFL has banned touchdown celebrations that feature dunking over the goalposts, when might Roger Goodell take action against players breaking the NBA’s dress code? While you’re considering whether any editor on the planet would’ve allowed me to get away with that one, SBN’s Spencer Hall declares, “calling the NFL ‘They’ at this point seems wrong.” (“Let’s call the NFL an “it,” an impersonal, monstrous thing that stands somewhere categorically weird: part full-time law firm, part branding consortium, part etiquette council, and part massively gifted real estate scam.”)

Sometimes they play the distraction of football, and now you understand why you can’t dunk a ball over the goalpost anymore. When you become something so inhuman as what the NFL is at its godlike size, the slightest trace of human excitement registers as an error, and must be eliminated immediately. In the end, Dr. Manhattan became so powerful he didn’t need Earth anymore. When the godlike corporation of the NFL figures out a way to eliminate humans entirely from their equation, it won’t either.

Victorino : Doesn’t MLB Care About Hackey-Sac Nation?

Posted in Baseball at 6:26 pm by

WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford reports Major League Baseball plans to limit walk-up music for hitters to a mere 15 seconds, which puts a slight dent in Red Sox OF Shane Victorino’s chosen tune, Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds”.   Victorino, who to my knowledge has yet to protest MLB’s new instant replay policies or edicts banning home plate collisions, tells Bradford said decision will RUIN BASEBALL AS WE KNOW IT.

OK, that’s exactly not what he said, But Shane’s still a little too wrapped up in this Marley song.

“I just think it’??s not right,” Victorino said. “??It’s disappointing to hear that. I look at it this way: There was a stat of going into the box between pitch, I think mine was like six seconds, which was one of the top five fastest.  So they ask me, ‘Why are you like that?’ I told them I wanted to get in the box and go. So this little stuff they want to change with music, for a guy like me of course it sucks because it’s not necessarily for me but it’s part of everything that goes on at Fenway Park when I walk up to the plate. Now you’re going to have so many disappointed fans every night because you’re changing that part of the game.

“??I just feel like it shouldn’t be a designated time, Some guys take their time. Some guys that’s their rhythm. I don’t want to do just because I want to listen to the whole song. It’s because it’s the thing that’s been picked up and the way it happened toward the end of the season. That’s the only reason I let that part of the song go. If not, I don’??t pay attention to that.”

With the new 15-second rule, Victorino’s walk-up music will barely get into the best known part of what had been about a 20-second clip. “Don’??t worry” will creep in under the allotted time, but the lyrics, ‘??’?about a thing. Because every little thing gonna be all right” will not make the cut. (The “Because every little thing gonna be all right” often is echoed by the fans without music.)

Mitch McConnell Hopes Kentucky Conservatives Don’t Follow College Basketball

Posted in Basketball, politics at 4:27 pm by

…or perhaps he’s confident that his likely voters are such great sportsmen & women, they don’t mind being reminded of Duke beating Butler in the 2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball final.

03.24.14

Guy Who Refuses To Stop Using Racial Slur Annoints Himself The Savior Of Native Americans

Posted in Gridiron, Racism Corner at 10:47 pm by

Washington owner Daniel Snyder claims he and his staff have visited 26 Indian reservations to gauge opinions regarding his team’s continue use of the Redskins nickname, and on Tuesday, Synder plans to announce the formation of “the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation”, which is essentially his way of saying America’s indigenous peoples have bigger problems than his gross insensitivity (“I believe the Washington Redskins community should commit to making a real, lasting, positive impact on Native American quality of life—one tribe and one person at a time,”)   From the Washington Post’s Mike Jones :

“The more I heard, the more I’ve learned, and the more I saw, the more resolved I became about helping to address the challenges that plague the Native American community,” Snyder wrote. “In speaking face-to-face with Native American leaders and community members, it’s plain to see they need action, not words.”

Snyder’s announcement drew criticism from the Oneida Indian Nation, a New York tribe that has emerged as one of the most vocal opponents to the name. In a statement released late Monday, tribal representative Ray Halbritter reiterated the Oneidas’ hope that Snyder will change the name.

“We are glad that after more than a decade of owning the Washington team, Mr. Snyder is finally interested in Native American heritage, and we are hopeful that when his team finally stands on the right side of history and changes its name, he will honor the commitment to Native Americans that he is making today,” Halbritter’s statement read. ”We are also hopeful that in his new initiative to honor Native Americans’ struggle, Mr. Snyder makes sure people do not forget that he and his predecessor, George Preston Marshall, a famous segregationist, have made our people’s lives so much more difficult by using a racial slur as Washington’s team’s name.”

Snyder said in the letter that the Redskins have already donated more than 3,000 coats to several tribes, as well as shoes to boys’ and girls’ basketball teams on reservations, and that the franchise helped purchase a backhoe for the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska.

Ostler To A’s : If Controlling Sewage Is Out Of The Question, How About Reducing Foul Territory?

Posted in Baseball at 8:26 pm by

Oakland’s O.co Coliseum gets plenty of grief — the park was a fixture on early episodes of “Olbermann” for their chronic plumbing problems — but I’ve rarely had a bad time watching a baseball game there. At least part of that is down to good seats (tens of thousands of them) being available for face value by the time of first pitch, but the massive amount of foul territory aside, I think it’s a perfectly acceptable venue. The SF Chronicle’s Scott Ostler, mindful the club won’t be moving to San Jose anytime soon, addresses the foul territory issue, noting that someone else has already proposed doing something about it.

Supposedly, when the Haas family owned the A’s, they considered moving home plate back but junked the plan because fans in the third deck would lose their view of the plate. That deck is now tarped, except for a middle slice of that top-deck pie. To make up for losing those seats, the A’s could put up 10 rows of bleacher seats behind the new outfield fence.

A’s owners say they won’t spend tons of money improving a ballpark they’re trying to flee. However, if they get a new lease, the owners have pledged to spend $10 million on improvements, including an LED ribbon banner.

Ribbon banner? Fans, would you rather have better seats and a cooler, close-up game experience or be assaulted with flashing neon advertising?

The cost of moving the field? A pittance. Foul poles would be relocated and a few field-level seats rearranged. The dugouts should be moved closer to the field. All simple Home Depot projects.

03.23.14

Blazers’ Matthews To Media : You’ll Look Stupid (Pointing Out How Much We Sucked)

Posted in Basketball at 10:10 pm by

After Portland suffered a 30 point home loss to Charlotte Saturday, SG Wesley Matthews chocked his team’s embarrassing effort up to “they’re a playoff team and they’re all NBA players. We didn’t play well. They played great.”  His reply to a followup question, as transcribed by the Oregonian’s Joe Freeman, was a tad more contentious, however.

When a reporter told Matthews he wasn’t sure if it was more appropriate to kill the Blazers for their general ineptitude or dismiss the hideous performance as just one of those nights in a grinding 82-game season, Matthews looked at him sideways and issued a challenge.

“If you kill us, you’re going to look dumb come next game,” he said. “Because we’re going to be a whole new team, we’re going to be the team we’re supposed to be. So you go ahead and kill us. And you’re going to have to come back and see us in the locker room and be like, ‘Aw shoot.’ So I’m just going to save you. Write that. Write it all.”

Portland’s next game happens to be in Miami Monday night against the defending champs, who at the moment, need no assistance from the Fourth Estate in killing themselves.

MLB Instant Replay : Is There Something Wrong About Trying To Get It Right?

Posted in Baseball at 3:28 pm by

“Some of those (old) arguments would go on for three, four, five minutes, and you were never going to get it changed…so what the hell were you doing it for?”  That’s Tony La Russa’s response to those who fear baseball’s new instant reply protocols will reduce the number of dirt-kicking, motherfucker-dropping manager vs. umpire spats following disputed calls.  While former ump Doug Harvey takes an opposing view (“I hate it…that’s part of the game. That’s getting the fans into it…now you’re taking it away and saying, ‘ok, we’ll check with the replay. That’s not baseball”), the San Jose Mercury News’ Daniel Brown consulted, well, a statistician.

Gil Imber, an expert on umpire-manager relations, predicts that overall ejections will be down in 2014, but only by about 25 to 35 percent. Imber is the owner and commissioner of the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League, which tracks and analyzes umpire behavior.

Imber reported that of the 180 total ejections last season, 83 were for arguing balls and strikes, 11 were for fighting, 14 were for pitchers intentionally throwing at a batter, eight for issues of interference and obstruction, three for disputing issued warnings, two from balks, one from an unacknowledged timeout request and eight for unclassified unsporting actions. “In other words,” Imber wrote, “72 percent of the ejections concerned issues, plays or calls that will not be reviewable under the expanded instant replay system.”

Managers, of course, view their half of the argument as an art, too. When Billy Martin went berserk, for example, players knew their manager was actually digging below the surface.

“The reason why he did it was the intimidation factor,” recalled Shooty Babitt, an infielder who played for Martin with the 1981 Oakland A’s. “These guys (like Martin and Earl Weaver) weren’t out there to get that specific play changed. It was more about hoping that the next play would get called in his favor.”

03.22.14

Marcus Vick Can’t Believe The Way Some People Hold A Grudge

Posted in Dogs, Gridiron, twitter twatter at 8:29 pm by

I don’t know what’s more disappointing, that Marcus Vick is surprised that living down the mass murder of man’s-best-friend isn’t so easily accomplished….or that he lacked the presence of mind to tweet, “ok, but at least he’s not Mark Sanchez.”

03.21.14

THIS WEEK IN LISTICLES / SLIDESHOWS I AM HESITANT TO LINK TO :

Posted in non-sporting journalism, Rock Und Roll at 9:19 pm by

(above : never should’ve gone electric)

If Consequence Of Sound really believes the Smashing Pumpkins or Weezer have done more damage to their respective legacies then the Rolling Stones or Glenn Danzig Rod Stewart, fair enough, they’re allowed to be wrong in public like anyone else.  But this is really the most undeserved, backhanded compliment of all-time — if you’ve sucked from start to finish, there’s absolutely no legacy to worry about. It’s akin to wondering out loud why Better Than Ezra never fulfilled their promise, or trying to determine where it all went wrong for EMF.

03.20.14

There’s Actually Something At The Barclays Center Less Popular Than The Boomer & Carton Kitchen

Posted in Basketball, New York, New York, Real Estate, Religion, The Marketplace at 11:23 pm by

(pic swiped from the Atlantic Yards Report)

While Forest City Ratner has yet to deliver affordable housing the immediate area surrounding Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, they did manage to build what is surely the only open-to-the-public meditation room in an NBA arena.  Though the New York Times’ Andrew Keh claims the room has few, if any visitors, he credits it’s existential existence to the Reverend Herbert Daugherty, “a Brooklyn pastor who has long been one of Atlantic Yards’ most ardent supporters.”

“Life is more than stone and steel and stuff,” said Mr. Daughtry, who heads the House of the Lord Pentecostal Church. “It’s about values, decency, fairness, trying to teach people that there’s more to life than materialism.”

Mr. Daughtry’s opponents argue that he has been co-opted by Forest City, and they point to the group he founded, the Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance, which was seeded with $50,000 from the developer. Mr. Daughtry’s family members oversee other programs that the developer funds to benefit the community. One of Mr. Daughtry’s daughters is in charge of distributing dozens of free tickets for each Nets game. Another daughter will run the arena’s community events program. His wife picked out the meditation room’s furnishings.

Mr. Daughtry said he was used to being criticized as “a sellout,” but he has taken a pragmatic approach. “Can you imagine all this is happening three or four blocks from my church, and all I had done was criticize from the side?” he said. “And my members and children are asking: ‘Can we get tickets? What happened? Why aren’t you involved?’ ”

A fan wearing a Nets shirt said he had seen a sign on the concourse for the meditation room but had never bothered to see what it was. The fan, who gave his name only as Sayani, said he did not think he ever would. 

“The only time I would have used it was the game we blew to Toronto, when Deron Williams made that stupid pass into the backcourt,” said the fan, a manager at a nearby P. C. Richard & Son store. “Then I would have needed to meditate.”

Mushnick : Our Commander In Chief Is A Yahoo

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts, politics at 10:55 pm by

Calling President Barack Obama’s now annual appearances on “SportsCenter” to fill out an NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket, “shallow, populist, pandering”, the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick (who also, we should stress sometimes criticizes public figures who are white, too) is saddened that top flight college hoops’ sleazy side, “doesn’t seem to bother (Obama) a bit.”

Our President is one of those sports fans — a yahoo — who doesn’t appear the least bit concerned Division I basketball and football now seem to have a better chance to temporarily house and feed young criminals than to produce educated young men prepared to move up and beyond.

Consider that nearly every NFL and NBA player arrested — and that stack grows weekly — has one other thing in common: They’re college men.

To think what a few, stern words from the President on this — something to indicate that he knows the score — might do. Instead, he picked Michigan State to win the tournament.

Ah, yes, the Spartans. The star guard on Michigan State’s 1986 team, senior Scott Skiles, at the NCAA Tournament’s conclusion, reentered jail to serve 30 days for a parole violation. Until then, he had remained eligible to play.

Skiles could have done his 30 days during the basketball season, but that was out of the question. He could have served his time at the conclusion of the academic semester. Forget that, too. When basketball ended, he chose jail. Student-athletic priorities.

And in 2014, even the President of the United States is in on it. Again.

Fascinating analysis from Phil, who might be the first columnist with the courage to point out that President Obama is the only elected leader to have ever taken an interest in college sports. And does this country deserve a President who has the common decency to predict an early exit for Michigan State based on something that happened 28 years ago?

MLB’s Licensing Division Has Accomplished The Near Impossible :

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 4:59 pm by

…they’ve made future visits to Guitar Center even shittier.

03.19.14

An Australian Primer On The Seedy, Soulless Game Of Baseball

Posted in Baseball, We Aren't The World at 10:37 pm by

While the Dodgers and Diamondbacks prepare to start the 2014 MLB Regular Season with a pair of games at this historic Sydney Cricket Ground,  News.com.au’s Andrew Sharwood threatens to blow the lid off “the sordidness, the drudgery, the sheer boredom,” of professional baseball. It’s a rather hollow promise given that Sharwood has yet to interview Jonathan Papelbon, but here are a few of his mind-blowing findings just the same (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory) :

Baseball players drink, partly because they don’t always need to be the most athletic specimens in the world of pro sports, but also to pass the time. These guys play up to 160 Games in a season in the Majors or 140 games at minor league level. That’s six games a week for six months. Each night, win or lose, their adrenalin is pumping. A beer or two or seven or eight helps.

All those games means a whole bunch of road trips. And road trips mean seedy hotels. At minor league level, a Holiday Inn is like the Hilton. More likely you’ll end up staying in some three star dump on a highway between Crapsville Illinois and Dumpsburg, Arkansas. Happily married and want your wife to accompany you on the road trip? Be prepared to dip into your own pocket for a double room.

Sportsmen, like many in the entertainment industry, tend to have higher divorce rates than the general population. This is especially true in baseball, where divorce rates are said to be as high as 60 per cent. Women don’t exactly throw themselves at minor leaguers either, contrary to what the movie Bull Durham might have told you. So if you are single and looking for action, you have to put in the legwork. Which brings us back to the point about booze.

If you’re like me, you might be wondering where the downside is. Sharwood warns aspiring alcoholics looking for cheap sex at the Red Roof Inn that when they get home from one of these miserable minor league road trips, they’ll most likely be staying in a shithole apartment featuring, “fake granite benchtops in the kitchen and an artful, black-and-white framed poster-sized photograph portraying a forlorn figure crossing a bridge with an umbrella blown inwards by the wind.” “Could life be any bleaker?” asks Sharwood, presumably unaware that at one time or another, young people actually competed for the chance to replace Michael Hutchence in INXS.

Hoops Universe (Save For LA) Salutes Dolan’s Latest Pricey Acquisition, Silently Prays That He Fucks Off For Good

Posted in Basketball at 8:24 pm by

Of Phil Jackson’s sudden ascendency to President of the New York Knicks, former (annual?) CSTB contributor David Roth writes, “If Jackson’s presence can remind the owner of what his role ought to be — signing checks, terrorizing underlings, buying bluesman hats online while terrorizing underlings — then Dolan’s impact on the team could be blessedly mitigated.”  That’s what passes for guarded optimism these days, though Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski cannot help but harp on the lamest vanity project this side of Dogstar while warning, “just stay out of Zen’s way, just get lost now.”

When New York Knicks executives chased free agents in the summer of 2010, owner James Dolan made himself a part of the presentations. He isn’t the most engaging, enchanting man, but Dolan does fancy himself a musician. So, yes, there were player and agent meetings four years ago when Dolan delivered a parting gift on the way out of the room.

“He passed out copies of his CD,” said a source, who stuffed his copy of one into a bag and no longer remembers where it’s gone.

It featured the melodies of JD and the Straight Shot, Dolan’s corner-bar band that bought itself into the opening act on tour with the Eagles. Dolan’s world revolves around the Eagles, and no one has helped meld his fantasy camp/groupie life of bad teams and super groups more gloriously than notorious ball-busting Eagles business manager Irving Azoff.Tuesday, here was Azoff, sitting with Glenn Frey at Madison Square Garden, taking bows, in the words of Dolan, for “brokering” and “negotiating” Jackson’s $60 million contract with the Knicks.

Someday, Dolan declared, the Knicks would be winning by 30 points and Jackson would let him go into the game. All those scared Garden employees laughed and laughed in the back of the room, and even Jackson cracked a polite smile. Real funny and all, but James Dolan has to understand that he’s out of the game for good, that this is Phil Jackson’s franchise now, his principles and values and vision in the grandest Garden experiment of all.

Gimp My Ride : W*A*S*P Guitarist Has A Used Car For Sale, Does Not Advise Driving Like A Beast

Posted in Automobiles, Rock Und Roll, The Marketplace at 2:13 pm by

Unless and until Blackie Lawless’ Segway hits the auction block, Chris Holmes’ 1987 Firebird might the ultimate item to complete your W*A*S*P-related methods-of-transportation memorabilia collection. Snap it up now, before some wealthy W*A*S*P fan drops it in the parking lot of the Experience Music Project.

03.18.14

CSTBracket VIII: Two Terms of Intermittent Competence

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts, Internal Affairs at 6:42 pm by

(we are not awarding the winner of the 2014 CSTBracket a copy of College Slam for the Sega Genesis because a basketball biting a rim is thoroughly unreleastic)

Eight years is a long time to be wrong. Most humans have been wrong about at least one thing for at least that long, with the exception of people under the age of eight and Mike Francesa. But still. This is the eighth year of the CSTBracket’s existence, which means that it’s old enough that someone — I’m not going to say who this person is or what his role is in writing this blog post — almost certainly picked a bracket in this contest based in part on reasoning that involved an abiding belief in Acie Law IV. It worked out as well as might have been expected.

That is: I was wrong LAMF, and I have mostly stayed wrong in varying degrees of likeness to a MF about college basketball for these eight years. And yet it all just sort of rolls off and rolls by, this near-decade of not knowing what the hell I’m talking about more or less ever. Time passes — 2010 winner Hot Shit College Student could be done with medical school at this point, for all we know — and it doesn’t ever quite seem to matter that much.

It’s a happy, safe sort of incompetence, and I am in no hurry to stop believing what is probably not true, being shown that I was wrong to believe it, briefly being frustrated, and then opening a beer. I am, in fact, in a hurry to do all that again, and trust that I’m not alone in this. And so: for the VIIIth year, here is the CSTBracket: a chance to be wrong about Aaron Craft and the Mountain West and a bunch of other mostly insignificant stuff, as per tradition, and with people who share a similar taste in sports blogs.

Or it’s here, rather, with the password being cstbracket and the stakes, as ever, being fairly low. It is, as ever, free to enter. It will, most likely, entitle the winner to a gift bucket of 12XU goodies courtesy of our gracious host. (A photograph of me in my Corliss Williamson Arkansas jersey has been a part of the prize package for years now, and has inexplicably not once been claimed.) Enjoy it. We may never get to be wrong this way again, although honestly we probably will.

Extra Large Mouths Embrace New Medium : Ordway & The (New) Whiner Line

Posted in Sports Radio at 4:20 pm by


While Dino Costa’s internet radio aspirations seem to rank somewhere between a con game and a pipe dream, another sports chat vet appears to have emerged from recent termination with a strong semblance of his old program firmly intact. Former WEEI fixture Glenn Ordway launched “The Big Show Unfiltered” online yesterday, a little more than a year after his departure from what used to be Boston’s most powerful sports talk outletBoston Sports Media’s Bruce Allen provides some highlights from Day One :

There were some things you didn’t hear on WEEI. Curse words, for one, though Ordway made sure to say that they weren’t going to force it on that issue. Pete Sheppard was the one getting in his curses, mainly directed at former WEEI GM Jeff Brown. They also went after Felger and Mazz by name, and an impression of Massarotti’s negative panic was in the offering.

Technically, things went pretty smooth for the first time out, they had some issues with callers, but for the most part, it was OK on that end. There seemed to be an issue with Steve Buckley’s microphone – he could barely be heard for much of the show, and as we all know, Buck likes to talk, so it was a bit of a struggle at times to hear.

They broke the news that the show will be aired on SiriusXM radio starting next week on channel 108.

They also had no issue making mention of Buckley’s sexual orientation, which was something of a change. The “Just for Men” hair coloring joke in the Whiner Line for one, and Buckley himself making lighthearted reference to “the gay guy.”

Seattle’s Logan Morrison : Fuzzy On Native American History, Neglects To Mention Those High-Earning Casinos

Posted in Baseball, Racism Corner, twitter twatter at 3:39 pm by

Marlins President David Samson once suggested Logan Morrison dial down the tweeting for his own good. So thanks, LoMo, for creating a situation where I actually find myself on the same side of an issue with David fucking Samson. I’m not sure which is worse, the casual indifference to the Native American Experience or that fact a highly paid adult uses “jelly” as shorthand for jealous.

03.17.14

Turner On The Mets’ Whispering Campaigns

Posted in Baseball at 10:50 pm by

Capital New York’s Howard Megdal takes a dim view of the New York Mets’ penchant for burying their own personnel, citing the sort of innuendo circulated about the likes of Carlos Beltran, R.A. Dickey, Ike Davis and most recently, Ruben Tejada.  Should Jordanny Valdespin feel dissed, or what?  Former Mets utlity guy Justin Turner, currently in Dodgers camp, tells Megdal, “nobody takes responsibility for what they say.”

“You’ve seen that with Tejada over the last few weeks,”  Turner told me as we chatted in front of his spring training locker. “ It’s all ‘a source said that they’re not happy with him.’ It’s like, you know what? If you’re gonna come out and gonna attack a guy’s character, and his work ethic, be man enough to put your name on it. Don’t say, ‘This is off the record’, and then off the record means they’re gonna write it anyway.”

It was puzzling when the Mets not only non-tendered Turner in December, but a “Mets official” leaked to Adam Rubin that the reason the Mets had gotten tired of Turner not running hard. It was the kind of story easily dismissed by anyone who’d watched the Mets play, and SNY’s Kevin Burkhardt, for one, took to Twitter to do just that

“All I can do is say if I was running an organization, in charge of it, I would look at all my players as assets, and want to build them up. So even if I didn’t want them to be on my team, they would have value. But for some reason, I don’t know, that’s not the thought process over there.

Mike Francesa’s Had Enough WIth GOTCHA Listeners

Posted in New York, New York, Sports Radio at 6:34 pm by

How better to mark the 60th anniversary of the hatching of New York’s Number One than by having him shadowed for a full day by Newsday’s Neil Best? Though it doesn’t seem like a great deal for Neil, here’s some excerpts from the longer conversation they couldn’t squeeze into the Sunday edition of the paper :

On his convoluted explanation for not recognizing the name of Tigers pitcher Al Alburquerque during the 2011 ALDS:

“What I don’t like is these guys play ‘gotcha.’ I’m on there six hours a day. I hear guys make mistakes on stuff like they don’t know the name of a head coach of a team or don’t know who is running a union or a commissioner. I have to know everything about everything on every team at all times.

“That is an obscure relief pitcher. But you know what? I didn’t handle that Alburquerque thing well. I didn’t. That is me getting mad at me. It’s my job to not make those mistakes. I make so few compared to other people and I’m on so much longer and cover so much more stuff than people, but I know I’m going to be and should be held to a higher standard. I’m supposed to be the standard. I understand that.

“I have the biggest show and get paid the most money. I expect that. But I expect it from myself more. I was more upset with me on that than anybody else. If I do something like that I’m mad at myself and say to myself, you know what, I didn’t work hard enough. I always work really hard.”

We’re This Much Closer To Unraveling The Mystery of #MH370

Posted in Air Traffic Controllers, twitter twatter at 2:48 pm by

03.16.14

Creative Excuses Dept, SXSW Wrap Up Edition

Posted in 12XU, Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 10:10 pm by

Unholy Two are the reason why if you need me to do anything for the next few days, you’ll need to write it down.

Red Sox Vow To Help, Not Punish Their Prodigal Pussy Hunter

Posted in Baseball, The Law at 1:11 pm by

“We spent the last couple days gathering information trying to find out what happened and what needs to be done,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said of catching prospect Jon Denny’s recent brush with the law. “At this point, we’re in the middle of putting together a program for Jon to address things that we feel he needs to address.” Presumably one of those things will including not telling officers of the law that’s he cruising for pussy. From The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo :

“We certainly take the incident seriously as we would with any other player. We’re trying to address his needs and help him in any way we can. But certainly he has some work to do.”

Denney, 19, was arrested early Thursday morning and charged with driving with a suspended license.

Denney was initially pulled over at 11:57 p.m. in the Fort Myers Beach area when his black Ford F-150 Raptor was observed accelerating quickly through a stop sign, causing the pickup truck to fishtail.

Denney produced a passport and an Arkansas license that was restricted for business and emergency purposes because of a previous DUI arrest. The Lee County police report indicated Denney started to “cuss at two officers.” Denney then said he was a Red Sox player and made more money than the officers would ever see.

Cafardo indicates that while Denney received a signing bonus of $875,000.00, his current salary is roughly $1000 a month during the season.

03.15.14

Boras To Mets : You’re Letting Your Fans Down (By Not Enriching Me)

Posted in Baseball at 1:54 pm by

Not for the first time, player agent Scott Boras has suggested clubs unwilling to lavish a long-term pact upon SS Stephen Drew are refusing to compete.  On Friday, Boras echoed prior remarks, claiming the failure to pursue Drew was indicative of a lack of “credibility”.  From Newsday’s Anthony Rieber :

“I think the earnestness of a franchise and their desire to win is always appraised by their conduct in pursuing the available talent,” Boras told Newsday when asked about the Mets and free-agent shortstop Drew in a telephone interview Friday.

They have known weaknesses. We’re talking about a shortstop that’s in the top eight in baseball, is fourth in OPS, drove in [67] runs last year and is one of the better defenders at his position. When these players are available and clubs that have weaknesses are not pursuing them, a question of the integrity of what the goals of the organization are come to mind.”

Asked whether he was speaking of the Mets, Boras said: “I’m not speaking about anyone specifically. I’m just speaking generally about the reason that these players are coveted, the reason that these players are so valuable, the reason they sign late, is teams get to look in spring training and the obvious weaknesses of clubs is revealed. The fans of the respective teams really get to look inside what can really help their team and the fact that this talent is available . . . without the detriment of losing a first-round pick. It’s rare that you have that opportunity.”