…while Jim Rome prepares the obligatory Andrew Ridgely joke, which he’ll repeat five or six times on the radio, then again on his television program.
The Mirror has the best headline about this particular incident : “GEORGE MICHAEL HAD SEX TOYS AND GIMP MASK IN CAR”, though I do think [email protected] ought to complain about the use of such innuendo.
The next time Chris Sheridan wonders why the average fan should care about salaries, the above average fan might want to check this out.
And after doing so, if he or she is a fan of the below average New York Knicks, said fan might wanna think about walking into traffic.
The Newark Star-Ledger’s Dave D’Allesandro is reporting that Chicago’s buyout of Tim Thomas’ contract will preclude a subsequent signing by New Jersey or Philadelphia.
Bulls GM John Paxson told agent Arn Tellem that he is determined to give Thomas the money he has left on his $14 million contract and allow him to become a free agent, but only if Thomas signs with San Antonio or Phoenix.
The negotiation continued yesterday with no settlement. But Paxson has control of the discussion: If Thomas is not waived by Wednesday, the Paterson native won’t be eligible for the playoffs regardless of what team he chooses to play for.
Entering the weekend, it was believed that Paxson didn’t want Thomas to go to Philadelphia, because the Bulls are chasing the Sixers for the eighth seed in the East. But the Nets have been added to his list of undesirables because they still have two games against Chicago this season.
As the battle for the 5th spot in the Mets’ rotation heats up with intra-squad games begining today, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman takes a long look at the state of New York’s starters.
The most meaningful competition will reveal whether the Mets have a depth or dearth of starting pitching. Aaron Heilman (above), the front-runner for the No. 5 starting slot, will work today, as will a few players with a chance to push the righty: Brian Bannister, Jeremi Gonzalez, John Maine and Alay Soler.
Omar Minaya and pitching coach Rick Peterson believe that group, plus Jose Lima and Yusaku Iriki, offer viable options behind a front four of Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, Steve Trachsel and Victor Zambrano. Minaya depleted the rotation comfort level by trading Kris Benson and Jae Seo in an attempt to deepen the bullpen. The result, however, means the erratic Zambrano is probably back in the rotation while Heilman is likely to be moved from the pen, where he excelled last year, to the rotation.
If either falters or age/injury besets Martinez, Glavine or Trachsel, the Mets will be left with a buffet of untested and journeymen pitchers to step in.
One AL executive surmised, “The Mets are in a lot of trouble if any of their five starters goes down or doesn’t perform well.”
An NL GM more optimistically said: “I think that is reasonable depth. Bannister is a legitimate sixth starter, and Maine and Gonzalez have a chance to give a few decent starts. But I’m sure the Mets don’t want 25 starts from that crew.”
Minaya said he was “comfortable with the numbers, but I’m always looking to upgrade the quality.”
Minaya tried hard to get Javier Vazquez in the offseason and has told confidants he believes the club still needs at least one top-flight starter to win a championship, which is why he will work his radar to see if Jose Contreras, Barry Zito or another front-end arm goes on the market during the season while hoping that last year’s first-round pick, the buzz-producing Mike Pelfrey, comes fast. Minaya also must pray that Martinez and his fragile foot can produce another season of 30-start greatness.
Even if the Mets had kept Benson and Seo, it would not have made Martinez any more expendable. Those are the types who can replace Trachsel, not someone as great as Pedro. Now, however, the Mets must ask if they have enough resources to replace even Trachsel.
Seattle’s Matt Lawton hit a broken-bat HR during an intrasquad game on Monday. Carl Everett suggested checking the bat, which probably went over better than Carl administering a piss test on the spot.
Estranged from his longtime personal trainer/running mate Bobby Alejo, Yankees DH/1B Jason Giambi has enlisted the services of a new bulk-up expert writes the New York Daily News’ Sam Borden.
Sure, Jason Giambi can smash home runs over the fence of just about any ballpark, but how would he do pulling a car down the street? Or carrying a boulder? Or lifting a keg?
The Yankees first baseman very nearly found out how he measures up in those situations because his new personal trainer this winter was power lifter and World’s Strongest Man competitor Mark Philippi (above).
Alas, while Philippi had Giambi do a number of exercises that might be unfamiliar to the average gym-goer, Giambi never hooked his harness to a Chevy or tried to throw a telephone pole as seen in WSM competitions on TV.
“He’s got all that stuff at his house,” Giambi said. “He’d be like, ‘Hey, you want to come over and work with those things?’ and I’d be like, ‘Uh, no man.'”
That doesn’t mean it might not happen in the future. Throughout their training, Philippi joked with Giambi, saying that, “I don’t want to take you over to the garage (where he keeps his WSM equipment) and screw you up,” but he said he does think that kind of training could be beneficial if the two work together again in the future.
“Sled-dragging, pushing of cars, that could be really helpful in strengthening his legs,” Philippi said in a telephone interview. “I could see that making a difference. Things you could do that would translate well to the baseball field.”
The next time Goose Gossage fails to make the Baseball Hall Of Fame, Harry Carson is asked about his longtime Canton snub or Kanye West gets stiffed for some lame trophy, consider the way Buck O’Neal reacted yesterday to the news that he wasn’t amongst the 17 Negro Leagues alumni inducted into Cooperstown. (From the Kansas City Star’s Sam Mellinger and Jeff Passan).
œShed no tears for Buck, he said. œNo, no. Ol™ God™s been good to me. You can see that, don™t you? If I™m a Hall of Famer for you, that™s all I need. Just keep loving ol™ Buck.
O™Neil put a happy spin on the day, just like always. There was no disappointment, no how-could-they-leave-me-out talk. He focused more on how far America has come, that the grandson of a slave was given a fair chance at the national pastime™s highest honor.
He said not being elected didn™t hurt nearly as much as the real disappointments in his life, like when he was denied attendance at his local segregated high school in Florida. There will be no bitterness from O™Neil, only smiles.
œThis won™t stop me, he said. œI™ve got a whole lot to live for. It would have been ˜Buck O™Neil, Hall of Famer.™ Now it™s just ˜Buck O™Neil,™ which is all right. Or how about ˜Buck O™Neil, humanitarian™? That sounds better anyway.
Whether or not the latest stain on Spanish soccer will result in greater action than just minimal fines, I have no idea, but at some point, La Liga officials have to recognize these episodes are not only overshadowing the terrific football being played…but they render it irrelevant.
From the Telegraph’s Sid Lowe.
Spanish football was last night bracing itself for another wave of condemnation after Samuel Eto’o, Barcelona’s Cameroon striker, threatened to leave the field in protest at racist abuse during his side’s 2-0 victory over Real Zaragoza.
76 minutes into Saturday night’s clash at the Romareda, when Barcelona won a corner, Eto’o, who had been subjected to sporadic abuse by a small section of the crowd throughout the match, went to collect the ball and bottles thrown at him before a chorus of monkey chants went up.
Eto’o pointed at Alvaro, Zaragoza’s black Brazilian defender, in an attempt to underline the absurdity of the abuse, but his response served merely to increase the vociferousness of the chants. Victor Jose Esquinas Torres, the referee, ran over to a club official and demanded that an announcement be made over the PA system. His point was clear: if this behaviour did not stop, the game would be abandoned.
As Esquinas Torres returned, Eto’o, who was clearly upset, had decided to march off, saying: “I’m not carrying on like this. I’m not playing any more.”
The referee sought to stop him, but it was not until players from both sides, and Barca’s coach Frank Rijkaard, had spoken with him that he agreed to continue.
When Ronaldinho finally took the corner, Zaragoza’s concentration had been broken. Edmilson latched on to the ball and his shot beat the keeper, Cesar, but was tipped over the bar by the midfielder Albert Celades, who was sent off.
Ronaldinho then scored from the penalty and ran over to embrace Eto’o to celebrate. Three minutes later, Eto’o crossed for Henrik Larsson to make it 2-0. By now, Eto’o was being booed by virtually the whole stadium.
The Spanish Coalition Against Racism (Cecra) is calling for players to take part in a 5 minute delay of next weekend’s kick-offs, as a show of protest against the Spanish Football Federation’s inaction.
The Mirror is reporting — as tipped some weeks ago — that Newcastle have offered Celtic’s Martin O’Neal their managerial job, which might interfere with the England F.A.’s hopes of making O’Neal the successor to Sven Goran Ericksson.
I’ve never heard U.S. national goalkeeper Kasey Keller sing, but apparently, his vocal stylings are considered criminal in Germany.
On a day when both Will Leitch and Jim Rome took the time to sneer at ill-advised remarks by David Beckham, perhaps these unfunny Twin Brothers Of Different Mothers might want to consider that Becks might still be able to manage double digits on the Wonderlic test.
Rome, whose soccerphobia is so played out that Nike used a soundalike in one of their dopier footie commercials, declared Beckham, “the World’s Greatest Soccer Player.” In 2001, that would’ve been a huge stretch. In 2006, well…lemme put it this way. There isn’t anyone in Leytonstone, Manchester or Madrid declaring Kurt Warner the best player in the NFL.
There’s something a little screwy about ESPN giving Jim Rome a vehicle to laugh at Beckham’s grammar. Granted, the midfielder has never proven himself to be anything other than a comical public speaker, but Rome and his radio callers manage to rape the English language at every available opportunity.
Jeremi Gonzalez shows the entire world that he doesn’t care about the rumors.