Shut The (Transfer) Window, It’s Freezing Outside

Posted in Football at 2:24 pm by

With a flurry of activity that makes baseball’s trading deadline seem positively sleepy by comparison, football’s transfer window slams shut this evening and even both Matthew Upson’s move to West Ham (or Ronaldo’s shift to AC Milan) were confirmed, the Guardian’s Barry Glendenning had his live blogging hands full.

9.38am: According to one of the papers, Javier Mascherano (above) may not be the only player to leave West Ham today. The Daily Mail reveals that Teddy Sheringham, 153, could be on the way back to his old stomping ground White Hart Lane, assuming Spurs can offload Mido on loan to Celta Vigo. Then again, the same paper also reveals that most seahorses are promiscuous bisexuals (no, really), apart from the British spiny seahorse which remains faithful to its partner. Do you believe them?

9.44am: “What possible reason can there be for ignoring rules which presumably have some reason and thought behind them so Mascherano can move to Liverpool?” enquires Jamie Perry in Melbourne. “There are no mitigating circumstances other than he’s miserable, are there?” Well there’s that, the famous Scouse wit, 50 years of Anfield tradition and the fact that Fifa rules seem to be more flexible than a Russian gymnast, Jamie. Apparently the official Fifa party line is something to do with the fact that the English and Brazilian leagues do not run parallel.

9.50am: It’s not difficult to see why Liverpool want to sign Javier Mascherano. He’s made seven appearances for the Hammers, against Palermo (twice), Newcastle, Man City, Portsmouth, Tottenham and Everton. West Ham were beaten in every match.

They’re deadlocked at 0-0 (2-2 agg.) after 20 minutes in the North London Worthless Cup Semi-Final.  If I’m not the only person on earth watching the match while listening to Dan Patrick argue with Marshall Faulk on the radio, well, I oughta be.

The Offside links to a story in which Paul Gascoigne extolls the virtues of bargain hunting in Ladbroke Grove’s thrift stores.  At least one of those establishments took possession of various moth-eaten bits of my old wardrobe a couple of years ago….so if anyone spots Gazza staggering around Notting Hill Gate wearing a Mets 1999 NL Wild Card t-shirt, well, now you know the deal.

Oedipus Wrecks (Your Face): More Drama From The Mayweather Family, Avoided

Posted in Boxing at 1:27 pm by

Brendan Flynn writes with a story concerning a near-miss in America’s creepiest public oedipal drama not involving the White House:

A potentially compelling story line of boxing’s biggest fight of the year has been squashed. Golden Boy promotions announced Freddie Roach will likely train Oscar De La Hoya for his upcoming (on May 5) bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr. (above)  Yes,  that same Freddie Roach who’s been guiding James Toney on his bloated heavyweight travails. Oscar has been trained by Floyd Jr.’s father for his past 9 fights. Mayweather Sr. promised he was the only guy who could provide a strategy to dismantle his son and was asking $2 million to train De La Hoya for the fight. To quote Don King, “Only In America.” But alas boxing, a sport basically on life support, blew it again when it came to creating intrigue. It likely won’t matter too much as Floyd Jr.(37-0), unquestionably boxing’s best pound for pound, and De La Hoya, boxing’s best ppv attraction, will still be the must see fight of the decade–a depressing thought in and of itself.

More detail from the worldwide leader here. Apparently this fight set a record for gate revenue by bringing in $19 million after selling out in three hours. Which is impressive, sure, but the Arcade Fire sold out their five New York City shows in 8 minutes a few weeks ago. My point being that the people at Merge, rather than De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, probably should’ve been promoting this one.

Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz

Posted in Sports Radio, Sports TV, The Marketplace at 12:08 pm by

2nd prize : a week with Mike Golic.

Was This The Greatest Moment In Mankind’s History?

Posted in Basketball at 11:02 am by

Price check on posterizing Michael Jordan. (video link swiped from Marcel Mutoni and NBA Fanhouse)

Still fuming over Kobe’s one game suspension for the attempted decapitation of Manu Ginobilli, Phil Jackon has referred to Stu Jackson as “a non basketball person.” Having attended many Knicks games during 1989 and 1990, I would not argue with Phil.

The Tacoma News Tribune’s Frank Hughes catches up with that walking laff riot, the Sonics’ Mouhamed Saer Sene (above).

Earlier this year, the team had a breakfast meeting at the hotel on the road. Chris Wilcox showed up in a robe, so Bob Hill fined him — just for being ridiculous. At a team meeting yesterday, Sene shows up in baggy shorts, a button-up shirt buttoned all the way to the neck, a gold chain and flip flops. Wilcox turns to Hill and says, “If I got fined for the robe, he should get fined for that outfit.” Hill made Sene stand up in front of the team but did not fine him. Embarrassment may have been punishment enough.

I asked Bob if the D-League is a guard-oriented league. He said he asked Sene if they had any plays for him. Sene told him they had one play for him, ran it the first game he played and did not run it again the rest of the time he played there. I guess that means it’s a guard-oriented league.

Fred Ex : Matchmaker To The Stars

Posted in Baseball, History's Great Hook-Ups at 10:35 am by

Having recently signed a monster pact with the Phillies, Chase Utley might want to think about throwing a bone or two in the direction of a certain ex-Iggle. From the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jim Salisbury.

Chase Utley was in town yesterday, and he brought the best catch he ever made with him – his new bride,

They met as undergrads at UCLA. Freddie Mitchell (above) introduced them.

Yes, that Freddie Mitchell.

“It was Valentine’s Day 2000,” Jennifer explained on the day her man passed his physical and officially signed a seven-year, $85 million contract with the Phillies.

Mitchell, Utley and Jennifer Cooper were all in the same social policy class. In addition to catching passes for the Bruins’ football team, Mitchell, who later became a receiver and cartoon character with the Eagles, played a little baseball with Utley at UCLA.

After class that day, Utley pointed to Cooper and said he’d like to meet her.

“Oh, I know her,” Mitchell said with his typical I-just-want-to-thank-my-hands-for-being-so-great modesty.

Mitchell made the introduction – then hit up Jennifer for a ride home. Before long, Utley had a date with Ms. Cooper, and he even managed to get a second one after calling her Jessica on their first night out.

Utley and Jess… um… Jennifer became Mr. and Mrs. two weekends ago near her native San Francisco. hat was the same weekend his new deal with the Phillies was ironed out.

In other matrimonial news, congratulations to Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, who somehow managed to meet a girl without Freddie Mitchell’s assistance, and marry her without any press hoopla. ‘Tis a shame the blessed event couldn’t have coincided with National Gorilla Suit Day.

Agent : Selig Could Nullify New Bonds Deal

Posted in Baseball, The Law at 4:45 am by

From the AP :

Barry Bonds gave the San Francisco Giants the right to terminate his $15.8 million, one-year contract if he is indicted.

The unusual provision could set off a legal test between the rights in an individual player’s contract and rights under the union’s collective bargaining agreement. The language, included in the deal that was completed Monday night, is designed by the team to protect itself in case Bonds is charged in the federal government’s steroids investigation.

Bonds’ personal trainer, Greg Anderson, is in a California federal prison because he has refused to testify whether Bonds committed perjury when he told a 2003 grand jury he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs.

Complicating matters, the version of Bonds’ contract that was sent to the commissioner’s office by the Giants was not approved, Bonds’ agent, Jeff Borris, said late Tuesday. Borris said the team was redrafting the agreement to address the provisions in question and sending him a revised version by express mail for Bonds to review and sign. Borris wouldn’t specify what was at issue.

As part of the agreement, if Bonds is indicted the Giants have the right to terminate it under two sections of the Uniform Player Contract, a baseball executive said Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t announce that detail.

Under 7(b)(1), a team may terminate a contract if the player shall “fail, refuse or neglect to conform his personal conduct to the standards of good citizenship and good sportsmanship or to keep himself in first-class physical condition or to obey the club’s training rules.”

Section 7(b)(3) gives the team the right to end the deal if a player shall “fail, refuse or neglect to render his services hereunder or in any manner materially breach this contract.”

In addition, the Giants have the less drastic option of converting Bonds’ deal to nonguaranteed, the baseball executive said. Players with nonguaranteed contracts can be released before opening day for 30 or 45 days’ termination pay, depending on the timing.

With HR no. 756 firmly in his sights, I can’t imagine what would compell the Sultan Of Surly to fail, refuse or neglect to render his services.

On the other hand, it’s hard to hit while wearing handcuffs.


The Resurrection Of Jared Jeffries.

Posted in Basketball at 9:42 pm by

Though an 8 point lead with 2 minutes left turned into a mere 2 point advantage in the closing seconds, the Knicks’ Eddy Curry and Channing Frye hit some key free throws to ice tonight’s 99-94 win, the third straight loss for the Kobe-less Lakers. The Zen Master moaned about Bryant’s suspension before the game, and took special care to compare the accidental smack of Manu with “Raja Bell kicking a guy when he’s down.”

Though Eddy Curry’s 27 points led all scorers are the Garden Wednesday, the much maligned Jared Jeffries (above) had a breakout performance (14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks) at both ends of the floor. Jeffries fed Curry with a no-look, behind the back pass in the third quarter that the Knicks center might’ve been the last guy in the building to see. In the game’s final moments, Jeffries blocked a Brian Cook jumper that would’ve narrowed the gap to 2 points, and he lost a contact lens in the process.

The ever polite David Lee was the only uniformed member of the club to get down on the floor and look for it. This extra-effort-off-the-bench stuff is a little too much sometimes.

If Andrew Bynum’s showing against Curry tonight is any indication, Mark Aguirre might be a more proficient tutor of big men than Kareem.

Steve Somers has described his pronounciation problems with Smush Parker’s first name as “the worst mistake in my entire career.” This from a guy who once went on MTV and took credit for breaking Huey Lewis.

After negotiating a buyout with the Grizzlies, Eddie Jones is expected to sign with Miami later this week. There’s no followup story about an Antoine Walker buyout, but if you’re a Miami fan, you can always dream.

While the entire sports world is mourning the passing of Sidney Sheldon, perhaps lost in the shuffle this emotional day is Sasha Pavlovic scoring a career-high 24 points in Cleveland’s 124-97 rout of Golden State. The Cavs made do without LeBron, sidelined by an injured big right toe, though I suspect King James’ disappointment over never getting his copy of “The Other Side Of Midnight” autographed left him in no mental state to take on the Warriors.