Todd Jones : Blogging Pioneer, Paragon Of Heterosexuality, Former Closer

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 6:53 pm by

Fernando Rodney’s been installed as the new closer in Detroit following a Todd Jones blown save on Friday.  The latter reliever tells the Detroit News’ Bob Wojnowski, “”I’ve been to the depths of everything emotionally, but this is just one of those things you have to go through, too.” With this kind of range, there’s no reason Jones can’t make his acting debut in a dinner theatre production of “The Rod Beck Story”.  (link taken from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

“You know, you’re born into the big leagues and then you’re born a closer and then one day you’re no longer trusted with the brunt of the load in the ninth inning. My day came — what is it, July 27? — so there’s no spilled milk here.”

Jones stopped and referenced Leyland, who always stood behind him but couldn’t do it now.

“I mean, I love that guy,” Jones said, his lip quivering, his voice cracking.

Leyland wanted it known he wasn’t scapegoating Jones, that he greatly appreciated his effort, that urgency simply was mounting.

“He handled it like the entire pro he is,” Leyland said. “We’re not throwing Todd Jones under the bus. I have to make decisions that I think are in the best interests of the ballclub, and right now, I think it’s in our best interests to try somebody else for a while.”

“I’m a pro, I’m a Tiger,” Jones said. “I’m a big boy. I’m 40, so you knew this day had to come sometime. I can’t question anything (Leyland) has done because he’s done a lot for me, taken a lot of heat for me, and I’ve done a pretty good job for him too. I don’t like it but I’ll live with it because I respect the guy that told me.”

“As much as (Jeff) Brantley might be baseball’s leading purveyor of hot air, that still doesn’t excuse Griffey making an on-field motion even more distasteful than Brantley’s mullet” scolds Yahoo Sports’ ‘Duk of claims Junior made a throat-slashing gesture towards the Reds’ mouthpiece this past Saturday night while crossing home plate.  Without wishing to debate matters of decorum, can we really blame Griffey for expressing the same sentiments held by virtually every person that’s ever heard Brantley call a game?

Henry David Thoreau, Fuck Off : Carl Stevens’ Ode To Manny

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression at 2:28 pm by

WBZ’s Carl Stevens considers the crumbling relationship between Manny Ramirez and the Boston Red Sox (above), though isn’t it a tad one-sided to paint Boston’s disgruntled left-fielder as being all about the money? Standing room tickets are $50 at Fenway Park, the franchise is a cash-printing machine, yet the poor, suffering ownership are being encouraged — by the local media, no less —- to cut salary in 2009, if not sooner.

It’s hard to imagine what Manny might have to moan about given a $20 million annual salary. But he’s a rather crucial component in Boston’s two World Series Championships in the past 89 years. For those who cannot abide by Ramirez taking games off, bitching about his contract status in midseason, etc., there’s only one solution that makes sense before Friday’s trade deadline : a straight-up trade swap with Detroit for Gary Sheffield.

The Fiver Explains How Joey Barton Got His Get Out Of Jail Card

Posted in Football, The Law at 2:00 pm by

Newcastle midfielder/reprobate Joey Barton was sprung from prison earlier today after serving just two months of a half-year stretch for beating someone up in front of a Liverpool McDonald’s. Though it seems a bit mysterious how authorities arrived at the conclusion Barton had seen the error of his ways, the Guardian’s Barney Ronay attempts to imagine just how the parole hearing went down :



Man in suit: “Joseph Anthony Barton, your files say you’ve served 74 days of a six-month sentence. Do you feel you’ve been rehabilitated?”

Joey Barton: “Rehabilitated? Well, now let me see. I don’t have any idea what that means.”

Man in suit: “Well, it means that you’re ready to rejoin society.”

Joey Barton: “I know what you think it means sonny. To me it’s just a made-up word. A politician’s word, so young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie, and have a job. What do you really want to know? Am I sorry for what I did?”

Man in suit: “Well, are you?”

Joey Barton: “There’s not a day goes by I don’t feel regret. Not because I’m in here, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then: a young stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can’t. That kid’s long gone and this 25-year-old’s all that’s left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It’s just a bull$hit word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don’t give a sh1t.”


Mutoni’s URL Registration Wasted : Knicks Ready To Trade Renaldo

Posted in Basketball at 1:40 pm by

Newsday’s Ken Berger reports the Knicks and Nuggets are negotiating a swap of the latter’s Renaldo Balkman for F Bobby Jones and PG Taurean Green. Clearly, the the clock has run out on predictions Balkman would emerge as the next Dennis Rodman — though there’s still plenty of time for him to hang out with Eddie Vedder and Jack Haley if so inclined.

The deal would mark the end of Balkman’s mostly confusing tenure with the Knicks, who selected him with the 20th pick two years ago when Isiah Thomas said Phoenix would’ve swiped him if he hadn’t. That scenario appears even more dubious now that the former coach of the Suns, Mike D’Antoni, is ready to ship Balkman out for little more than roster fodder.

The deal was proposed late last week and is being discussed internally by both clubs, the front-office official familiar with the situation said. If the two-for-one deal goes through, it would leave the Knicks with 17 players under contract, although Green and Jones – who have non-guaranteed contracts – expect to be waived. It would get the Knicks back to the 15-player roster limit and save them Balkman’s $1.32 million against the salary cap.

And Pepe Sanchez Is One of the Best American Athletes from Argentina

Posted in Blogged Down, politics at 1:45 am by

I recently did a Texas Monthly piece on sports and Presidential candidates, and while it was a cinch to call the Democrat “the Oregon State basketball’s coach’s brother-in-law,” there did not seem to be an easy reference for his Republican opponent. He was a Navy boxer (which is what I finally went with), a well-known critic of the UFC, enjoys Bill Bidwill’s money and thought highly of Pat Tillman (whom he’d never met). But you just don’t get a heavy sports vibe off the guy.

Little did I know, his true love must be Coyotes hockey. From Newsweek, via Greg Rajan:

If the need arises and the range is close, Mark Salter will edit John McCain in midsentence. After 19 years at each other’s side, neither man gives it a second thought. When a writer for The New Yorker was interviewing them last year about their latest best-selling book, the talk turned to hockey and the Arizona senator’s admiration for Wayne Gretzky, who coaches the Phoenix Coyotes. “Wayne Gretzky is one of the all-time best American athletes!” McCain proclaimed. But even before his boss finished speaking, Salter had spotted a slip-up: the hockey legend is from Ontario. “Yes,” Salter interjected, “Gretzky is one of the best American athletes ¦ from Canada!”

Hey, the Americas are the Americas, correct?

Is There Really No Way Brett Favre Can Be Traded For Manny Ramirez?

Posted in Blogged Down, Gridiron at 1:14 am by

(to be fair, the Madden Curse usually involves a broken bone or a torn something-or-other.  But enforced retirement will do, too)

Seriously, I’m rooting for round-the-clock coverage of Manny Ramirez’ most recent pissing match with Red Sox ownership, if only because if leaves less airtime for discussion and debate of Brett Favre’s stand-off with the only team he’s ever played for the team he’s spent almost his entire career playing for.. Fitted Sweats’ Jeff Johnson is eager to see the latter situation resolved, if only because “the only people dumber than Favre thus far are pride-filled head coach Mike McCarthy and GM Ted Thompson who are displaying the classic, Wisconsin person-with-authority ineptitude, blindness and inflexibility.” That’s a hell of a way to talk about Jay Tiller, and quite unfair to boot.  But either way, Johnson’s not buying McCarthy’s professed commitment to Aaron Rogers :

Is this fucking tee ball? Special Olympics?

“Brett, Aaron™s parents dropped him off here at 3:30 and he has yet to touch the football. So please give it to him.”

This is like the goddamn twilight zone. I don’t give a shit about Favre’s legacy. Or treating the man with respect. Or the people who say he’s been on the decline and last year was a fluke. Last year Favre had a halfway decent supporting cast and had his best completion percentage EVER. Look it up. He’s simply a better QB than Rodgers. Even as old as he is, he’s in the top 5 or 10 QBs in the NFL. It’s foolish to bench the guy for waffling.


Fred Smoot Discusses Gilbert Arenas’ Sharks, Raises Concerns About Next Leap Year

Posted in Basketball, Football, Sports Radio at 10:41 pm by

Fred Smoot is probably a smoodge smidge past his prime as a player, but the Redskins cornerback is just about primed to assume his rightful share of adulation as a Bizarro Washington D.C. Sports Hero. From his teammates Clinton Portis and Chris Cooley — of sub-Chappelle Show multiplicitous alter ego status and confirmed Party Mormon/Motley Crue Superfanhood status, respectively — to general genius Gilbert Arenas, there is already a weird wealth of sporting goofballs in the nation’s capital making their presences felt online and on television. Which is good, in part because otherwise it’s hard to know what Wizznutzz would be writing about, other than the next generation of R&D on the Ike Austin Cheeseboot Pro. It’s going to be big.

Smoot’s recent showing on a D.C.-area sports talk radio show — reported by DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg and relayed to me by Brendan Flynn via TrueHoop — shows why F-Smoo, too, may yet take his place in the D.C. sports goofball firmament. And maybe, considering Smoo’s ace reportage on Great Falls, VA neighbor Gilbert Arenas, a second gig as some sort of pro athlete society columnist. Is Lenny Dykstra’s magazine still hiring?

“I rode by his house not too long ago and I think he put an oasis in his backyard, he’s got his pool and his waterfall back there,” [Smoot said]. “I seen a piece of mountain in his backyard the last time I passed through there. So when they finish carving into that mountain, I can go back there and see what he got going.” Right. A mountain. Oh, did I mention that Chris Knoche was on ESPN980’s Sports Reporters on Wednesday, and he said that he heard from a kid on the work crew that Gilbert’s putting three bull sharks in a massive aquarium that’s part of his new million-dollar outdoor pool complex, which, like Smoot said, features a waterfall, as well as a grotto?

…More highlights from Smoot’s appearance:

On his energy bar (which is called “Smack” — ed): “It’s all organic. I made this bar mostly out of honey, and it don’t have a lot of preservatives or calories in it, that’s what i tried to cut out of it.”

On his social life: “I settled down man. See, c’mon, Fred Smoot, when you first met me I was about 20 years old. C’mon, now I’m 28, 29. C’mon. As time goes on we get older, we make better decisions.”

On his girlfriend’s race: “She’s from South Carolina, country girl….Actually she’s a tweener, she’s what I call a tweener, play as a linebacker and a D end. You know, her mom’s white, her dad’s black.

On her profession: “She’s a lawyer. You know, I had to get somebody who could actually equal my talking. You know, that was one thing I had to do.”

On his personality: “Well, you know, I like to be more than a football player. I think with athletes, a lot of people don’t get to meet the real us….Me, I’m gonna be Fred Smoot 365 days a year.”

Which reminds me: you’ll have no way to check this, really, since I only post once a week or so at most (I’ve been busy of late: when all the real writers go on vacation, in July and August, I tend to get a lot of work), but I wanted to make this promise to the CSTB readership. And I hope you’ll hold me to it. I, too, promise to be Fred Smoot 365 days a year. Starting…now.