06.30.05

Bush, Helmet Doofuses In Desperate Collaboration

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 10:33 am by

I’m not a religious person but between this and news of the Smashing Pumpkins reunion, I am begining to suspect there is a Higher Power after all. And He or She is punishing us.

Japan’s WBC Participation Still Undecided

Posted in Baseball at 9:23 am by

From the AP :

Japan said Thursday it has tentatively agreed to take part in the inaugural 16-country World Baseball Classic subject to the approval of the Japanese baseball players’ association.

Japanese baseball officials were responding to an end-of-the-month deadline set by Major League Baseball for Japanese owners and players to decide on whether to take part in the World-Cup style tournament set for March, 2006.

The Japanese players’ association will hold a meeting on July 22 to decide whether to take part.

Major League Baseball and its players association have already approved the tournament.

MLB officials and union travelled to Japan earlier this month and set an end-of-the-month deadline for Japan to reach a decision. MLB wants to make an announcement about the tournament on July 11, the day before the all-star game in Detroit.

Masashi Tsunoda, an official with the Softbank Hawks of Japan’s Pacific League, told reporters that a letter sent to the MLB included a counterproposal from Japan’s players on when to hold the tournament.

Players in Japan have proposed holding the qualifying games in March and the finals in July, during the all-star break.

Though I can’t imagine MLB accepting said proposal, the final round(s) of such a tournament would be far more compelling TV than the All-Star Game, Home Run Derby, etc.

Feschuk On Babcock’s Folly

Posted in Basketball at 12:57 am by

Was there a more questionable decision Tuesday night than Toronto’s selection of UConn’s Charlie Villanueva with the 7th overall pick? Other than Stephen A. Smith being allowed to make like an uninformed hoops version of Mel Kiper Jr., that is. The Toronto Star’s Dave Feschuk on the Raptors’ latest gaffe.

As the ESPN analysts vociferously panned the Raptors’ choice ” “Absolutely shocked!” hollered the usually rah-rah Dick Vitale ” the crowd cheered in agreement. When Villanueva took the podium in New York’s Madison Square Garden for his first interview as a Raptor, Toronto’s fans, saddened via satellite, filled the Air Canada Centre with boos.

“There’s gotta be a trade,” said one distraught fan. “Gotta be,” said another.

But there was no trade brewing behind the scenes, no secret swap to explain the unexpected. A year after defying expectations and selecting the disastrous Rafael Araujo in the No. 8 slot, Raptors general manager Rob Babcock had dropped another out-of-nowhere name.

You’ve heard of out-of-the-box thinking, but this ” going with a frequently maligned 20-year-old few experts figured worthy of the top 10 ” was out-on-a-limb thinking. And, if it doesn’t pan out the way the Raptors are hoping, it could be, for Babcock, out-of-a-job thinking.

Taking Villanueva (above) was unconventional if you’re being generous, inexcusable if you’re not. Not only does he play the same position as the club’s best young player, Chris Bosh, Villanueva has also compiled a checkered record of blasé performances during his two-year stint at the University of Connecticut.

“The average fan isn’t studying the draft and all the players like we do,” said Babcock.

I heard one explanation on the radio earlier today ; the Raptors had Villenuva work out and “fell in love with him”. In that case, invite Charlie to a Viletones reunion gig. If things go ok, you can both visit Tim Horton’s Donuts in the morning. But for the love of god, don’t draft him at number seven!

06.29.05

Gambler Goes Berserk, Hospitalizes Cameraman

Posted in Baseball at 11:44 pm by

MSNBC on the Rangers’ Kenny Rogers and his troubles with those pesky TV cameras.

Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers shoved two cameramen Wednesday, sending one to the hospital in a videotaped tirade that included throwing a camera to the ground and threatening to break more. ESPN reported that the man, Larry Rodriguez, filed a police report, claiming assault.

The report also said that police went to interview Rodriguez at about 9 p.m. ET at the Medical Center of Arlington where the cameraman was being examined for possible injuries. Detectives plan to interview Rogers on Thursday.

Rogers, who missed his last start with a broken pinkie he suffered during an outburst earlier this month, erupted at the cameramen as they filmed him walking to the field for pregame stretching before Wednesday night™s game against the Los Angeles Angels.

The 40-year-old left-hander first shoved Fox Sports Net Southwest photographer David Mammeli, telling him: œI told you to get those cameras out of my face.

Rogers then approached a second cameraman. He wrestled the camera from Rodriguez of Dallas-Fort Worth television station KDFW, threw it to the ground and kicked it.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound pitcher saw two other cameramen who were recording from the Rangers™ dugout and walked toward them. He did not make contact with the men, who were backing away.

œI™ll break every … one of them, Rogers said before he was escorted to the clubhouse by catcher Rod Barajas.

Rogers’ attack can be viewed here (windows media player required).

Albert Belle and Sean Penn were unavailable for comment. Or, more accurately, I don’t have their phone numbers.

Sheff : I’m Not Going Anywhere (Unless You Make It Worth My While)

Posted in Baseball at 6:12 pm by

From the New York Times’ Tyner Kepner.

Brian Cashman has little flexibility to deal from the major league roster, partly because several players have no-trade clauses. Gary Sheffield, Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada do not have such clauses in their contracts, but Sheffield would essentially create one if the Yankees tried to move him.

“I’m not going anywhere,” said Sheffield, who is signed through 2006. “If I have to go somewhere, I won’t go. If they said, ‘Wouldn’t you want to get paid?’ I’d say, ‘I’ve got plenty of money.’ I’m not playing nowhere else. I can promise you that.”

Speaking with MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the Yankee right fielder struck a somewhat different tone.

Sheffield, who is reportedly being dangled by the Yankees in a deal with the Mets that would land Mike Cameron in the Bronx, said that if he is traded, his new team better be prepared to extend his contract and give him more money — and whatever else he can think of to make it pay for taking the pinstripes off his uniform.

“It was my first choice to come here,” Sheffield said. “I made a lot of concessions to come here, and I’ll make it very clear. If I have to go somewhere else, a lot of things are going to have to be changed or you’re going to have an unhappy player.

“I’ll ask for everything. Period. You want to inconvenience me, I’m going to inconvenience every situation there is,” he added. “The only reason I’m playing is that I wanted to play for the Yankees. If I don’t get that opportunity, things change.”

Hey, if its concessions Gary wants, no problem. In the Pedro era, the Mets are all about coddling their superstars. Among the special stipulations Omar Minaya should be prepared to add to Sheffield’s contract are the following :

1) a promise from the entire roster that no one will try to steal Gary’s chef.
2) use of the Wilpon private jet so Gary can spend his days off with Roger Clemens’ family
3) all recordings by R. Kelly, Aaliyah, Ronnie Isley or Dave Chappelle parodying R. Kelly, banned from the clubhouse
4) full use of Shea facilities when the inevitable Subway sequel commercials (co-starring Jason Giambi) are ready to shoot.

Biggio : Hit Me Baby, One More Time

Posted in Baseball at 5:38 pm by

If nothing else, it was a heck of a way for Byung-Hyun Kim to make it to the Hall Of Fame.

I don’t mean to diminish Biggio’s achievement, but craigslist is packed with individuals who have taken just as many balls to the face, and few of them have their own websites.

GOP Shithead Withdraws Threats Against MLB

Posted in Baseball at 4:05 pm by

The above charming headline comes courtesy of Ben Schwartz, on today’s clarification from Virgina Congressman Tom Davis, who now denies that he’ll seek legislative redress were MLB to sell the Nationals to billionaire Bush-basher George Soros.

Writes Ben,

It™s not a real political discussion unless someone gets compared to a Nazi, even MLB, as The Washington Post’s Sally Jenkins just has to bring up baseball™s ugly Nazi past.  Uh, well, Marge Schott™s anyway:  “It was all right for Schott, the racist collector of Nazi memorabilia, to own a baseball team for years, but it’s not for Soros, the billion-dollar philanthropist and Nobel Prize nominee?”