Judge Creates Future Hassles The Next Time Omir Santos Needs A New Windshield

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York, The Law, The Marketplace, Ugly New Stadiums at 3:46 pm by

“Great views of Flushing and the surrounding areas from the stadium- it faces west so you can see beautiful sunsets. Plus all around the stadium you get to see the chop shops and the train yards and the bay. You would think the Mets would try to visually temper these sights but surprisingly not.”  So penned Jeffrey Jensen last April, though his initial impressions of the newly opened Citi Field might be somewhat altered when or if he reads the following item from the New York Times’ Sewell Chan (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

A federal judge on Wednesday upheld New York™s $3 billion redevelopment plan for Willets Point, an industrial section of Queens dominated by car-repair shops and waste-management businesses, finding that although the city had neglected the neighborhood™s infrastructure for decades, the constitutional rights of the businesses there ” many of which will be forced to relocate under the plan ” were not violated.

The plaintiffs, who organized themselves into an entity called the Willets Point Industry and Realty Association, and who œhave established thriving businesses (notwithstanding the grossly inadequate infrastructure of the area) and employ hundreds of people, œare understandably aggrieved by the fact that the plan that the city is in the process of implementing has no place for them, the judge, Edward R. Korman of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, wrote. However, he ruled, it was not the place of federal judges to intervene in the dispute.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg™s redevelopment plan was approved by the City Council, 42 to 2, last November. It calls for new sanitary and stormwater sewers, more power lines and new roadways and bicycle lanes. It also seeks new mixed-use development ” including, possibly, a hotel and convention center ” but envisions sweeping away the current industrial uses through eminent domain.

CSTB’s Greatest Hits – Celebrating “Buy Nothing Day”

Posted in Internal Affairs, The Marketplace at 3:16 pm by

In homage to Adbusters’ annual œBuy Nothing Day, I’m again re-running an item that has become, for better or worse, an Xmas shopping fixture around here.

(v. 1 “ CSTB, 11/29/03)

(v. 2 “ CSTB, 11/27/04)

(v.3 – CSTB, 11/24/06)

(v.4 – CSTB, 11/28/08)

If you’re gonna take a stand against rampant consumerism and all-encompassing commercial exploitation of everything that moves, abstaining for a day is pretty fucking weak. How about “Buy Nothing EVER”? Certainly a more ambitious plan, but if you’re gonna be cheap most of the time anyway, you might as well embrace an activist agenda (hopefully distracting others from your personality defects).

There is something on the Adbusters site about “Buy Nothing All Year” which eloquently talks about bartering for goods and services, but I’ve got two non-philosophical hang-ups with this :

1) my ISP isn’t down with this bartering thing. They want cash, cheque or credit card payment in exchange for reading Adbusters’ wildly entertaining fantasies. I offered to mow their lawn, but no dice.
2) the plan seems sensible, if a bit utopian. But nowhere does Adbusters explain how I’m supposed to get a $29 DVD player

(shoppers go berserk upon hearing the news major retailers will now pay them $20 to bring home copies of Bill Simmons ‘The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy)

(Please note that in the years since this item originally appeared, $29 DVD players have become somewhat commonplace. So feel free to substitute another big ticket item that’s a little more contemporary.)


Sods, Odds And A Piece Of Swag Wilbon Would Probably Not Appreciate For Xmas

Posted in Fashion, Gridiron, Rock Und Roll at 11:24 pm by

“I thought ‘Pinball Wizard’ was Elton John?” complained PTI’s Michael Wilbon earlier this month when the topic of The Who’s participation in the Super Bowl 44 halftime show came up.   “You’ve never seen ‘CSI’?” asked an astonished Tony Kornheiser, clearly the sort of student of rock history Townsend & Daltrey’s merchandising arm had in mind when they came up with the garment shown above.

Longtime Yankees/Giants P.A. Announcer Sheppard : I’m Done

Posted in Baseball at 7:25 pm by

Earlier this year, while recouperating from a bronchial infection, Yankee Stadium public address announcer Bob Sheppard denied his career was over, telling the New York Times’ Jack Curry, “I never said I’m not returning.”  Yesterday, however, Sheppard said exactly that to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch :

“I have no plans of coming back,” Sheppard said on Wednesday in a telephone interview. “Time has passed me by, I think. I had a good run for it. I enjoyed doing what I did. I don’t think, at my age, I’m going to suddenly regain the stamina that is really needed if you do the job and do it well.”

Sheppard’s legendary service to the organization began by introducing the lineups on April 17, 1951, and spanned approximately 4,500 games, including 121 consecutive postseason contests, a streak that ended in 2007 due to illness.

Asked if he has any words of advice or wisdom for fans who hope to lead long and full lives of their own, Sheppard — a devout Roman Catholic — said that one possible secret for his longevity has been his spirituality, as he still tries to attend Mass every day.

“I pray. I thank God for giving me ninety-nine years,” Sheppard said. “Ninety-nine years. Wow. Can you envision that? If you dream of living long, I would recommend it to you.”

Presumably, Derek Jeter will continue his practice of being introduced by a tape recording of Sheppard, much as the bedrooms and bathrooms of Alex Rodriguez’ Manhattan apartment will continue to feature a digital samples of John Sterling declaring, “An A-Bomb!  From A-Rod!”

The Sacramento Kings – Firing Gamblers (While Profiting From Them)

Posted in Basketball at 1:53 pm by

The Sacramento Bee’s Jason Jones reports a former Kings scout has been barred from NBA employment while his gambling history is being investigated.

The Kings in January fired Jack Mai, who was in his third season as the team’s assistant director of scouting. His dismissal was not related to gambling.

In a statement released Wednesday, the Kings said they had been informed that Mai participated in “improper wagering activities” while working for the team. The Kings added that they cooperated with the league’s investigation.

That the NBA responded in this manner is no surprise after gambling in the league became a major headline in recent years.

“The gambling thing, there’s zero tolerance for anybody that works in the NBA,” Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie said. “That’s the bottom line on that. We were totally supportive of their decision.”

Petrie’s bosses, Joe and Gavin Maloof, have a number of business interests besides an NBA franchise. Amongst the most high-profile and lucrative is their ownership of Las Vegas’ Palms Casino & Resort, and prior to that, the Fiesta.   If there’s really zero tolerance for wagering in the NBA, when do the Charlotte Bobcats announce they’re disassociating themselves from Michael Jordan?


Kernan : Boston’s ’04 & ’07 W.S. Rings Were Manny-Enhanced

Posted in Baseball at 4:57 pm by

While the Daily News’ duo of Mark Feisand and Bill Madden report Theo Epstein is making a considerable effort to acquire Roy Halladay from Toronto, NY Post competitor Kevin Kernan (above) remains unimpressed with a Boston’s postseason success this past decade, ranking the Red Sox at no. 10 in his Top 11 Overrated Teams (“Model franchise for stat geeks, authors, wannabe sportswriters and front office people, but it seems they can™t win a World Series without Manny over the past kajillion years”)

They have only two championships over the last billion years, and both came with Manny on the team. They™ve gone nowhere since he left, yet through the ages, trillions of books and postings and articles and twitters and Bill James™ ravings have been written about the brilliance of the Red Sox. It was a beefed up Manny that made the difference for that team that finally enabled them to win some championships. Without Manny they would have missed out.

Kernan’s a busy guy and it’s the day before a holiday, so he can’t really be expected to ponder how well the Yankees would’ve fared in the PED era had they been been denied the services of Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Alex Rodriguez, and uh, Jose Canseco.  The Bombers get a pass for Giambi, though ; they never won a World Series with Mr. Comeback (From Something Or Other) Player Of The Year on their roster.

(The Former) Mangenius To Lions : Sorry I Called You Fakers

Posted in Gridiron at 3:28 pm by

Browns lame duck head coach Eric Mangini has retracted his earlier claims the Detroit Lions faked injuries on Sunday in an attempt to slow Brady Quinn and the Cleveland no-huddle offense,  now ‘fessing up to the Plain-Dealer’s Tony Grossi, “we didn’t do enough to win the game.”

“It wasn’t like I was trying to shy away from accountability,” Mangini said today. “At the end of the day, we’re accountable for losing the game. (I was) frustrated with the situation. I probably expressed that more than I should. We had plenty of opportunities to win the game and we didn’t. That wasn’t good enough.”

The Browns lost to Detroit, 38-37, when a pass interference penalty in the end zone gave the Lions an untimed play from the 1-yard line. They scored the tying touchdown and kicked the winning extra point with :00 on the clock.

The next day, Mangini said there were several occasions when Detroit players halted the Browns’ offense with an injury, only to re-enter the game later.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Mangini’s comments were “way out of bounds” and “that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Not to defend the intensely unlikeable Mangini too much, but there was at least one instance of a Lions player — on offense — leaving the field with an alleged injury, only to return moments later and throw a game-winning TD pass.  Why question the legitimacy of the heroic Matt Stafford’s ailment? Simple – how could the Lions in good conscience allow the no. 1 overall pick from the ’09 draft to re-enter the game with an already-damaged shoulder? While the conclusion to last Sunday’s Toilet Bowl was undeniably exciting, shouldn’t someone on the Detroit sideline have thought about protecting Stafford — and the club’s massive investment?