04.28.10

It’s Official : Matt Kemp Is To Blame For The Dodgers Sucking, Having No Money, etc.

Posted in Baseball at 11:23 am by

Thrilled (albeit freezing) as I was to witness the Mets’ doubleheader sweep of the Dodgers — particularly the encouraging signs of David Wright emerging from just whatever the fuck has ailed him the past season + — it was difficult not to view the visitors’ capitulation as something approaching phoning it in.  In the midst of LA’s tailspin, Ned Colletti helpfully identified the chief culprit behind the collapse, if you thought it was either of the McCourts or the man who forced Joe Torre to make Charlie Haeger a big league starter, think again. From the LA Times’ Dylan Hernandez :

Andre Ethier admitted that the frustration level in the clubhouse was increasing, but said the team had to maintain its composure.

“We don’t need to start pointing fingers,” he said.

But fingers were being pointed from upstairs.

General Manager Ned Colletti went out of his way to voice his displeasure with his team when speaking to Peter Tilden of KABC, saying, “Some guys, I guess, think that they’re better than they are. They think the opposition’s just going to roll over and get beat by them. That obviously doesn’t happen.”

Colletti came down particularly hard on Matt Kemp.

“The baserunning’s below average,” he said. “The defense is below average. Why is it? Because he got a new deal? I can’t tell you.”

How Not To Promote A Book : Madden Hints Of Steinbrenner, Baba Wawa Romance

Posted in Baseball, History's Great Hook-Ups at 11:07 am by

Tuesday’s Rush & Malloy column in the NY Daily News had a headline of “Kim Kardashian much easier to shoot for Playboy than ‘guarded’ Ashley Dupre”, which might not have hinted there’d be an enclosed item of any interest to the CSTB readership. And since I couldn’t find one, you’ll have to settle for all the scary mental images the following excerpt conjures :

Barbara Walters better brace herself for Bill Madden’s new book, “George Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball.” Though the two have insisted that they’re just good friends, Steinbrenner’s wife, Joan, apparently has doubts. During the 2000 Yankees-Mets World Series at Shea, the Yankees security staff was thrown into a panic when they learned Babwa and Joan were both headed to Steinbrenner’s private box.

04.27.10

MLB To Inhouse Scribes : Stay On Topic, Or Else

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression, Sports Journalism, twitter twatter at 10:10 pm by

Who amongst us hasn’t dreamed of a day in which their MLB.com day jobs would afford the likes of Barry M. Bloom and Marty Noble with an opportunity to wax poetic about their fave movies, BBQ sauce recipes or advice to the love-lorn? OK, maybe that’s a bit far-fetched. How about this MLB.com columnist using Twitter to share his thoughts concerning a proposed boycott of the Arizona Diamondbacks? (“just wish true fans would seek alternative ways of protesting other than boycotting games”) See, not as awesome as Marty taking the night off to watch Season One of “Dollhouse” on DVD, is it? Whatever the source of MLB’s anxiety, we can only guess, as NBC.com’s Aaron Gleeman reports the league ” is cracking down on Twitter usage, ordering MLB.com writers to cease tweeting about all non-baseball topics and scolding players for their Twitter usage in general.”

Allowing the writers and players to show a bit of personality and interact with fans/readers was a positive thing and certainly caused me to become a fan of those who did it well.

Certainly setting standards for the type of content MLB employees post on Twitter is reasonable, but simply banning all non-baseball talk for MLB.com writers and preemptively scolding players who’ve done nothing wrong is … well, it’s just a real shame.

Under most circumstances, I’d agree with Gleeman. I fancy myself something of a free speech advocate and it’s hard to see any upside to stifling the creativity of ballplayers and writers alike.

However, if that’s what it takes to shut up this motherfucker nu-media menace for once and all, I’m all for it. It’s a small price to pay.

It Took Some Time, But We’ve Finally Found A Sports-Related TV Show That Looks Worse Than “Beer Money”

Posted in Baseball, Football at 1:51 pm by

Santos ingenue Neymar suffered an eye injury last night in his club’s 3-2 defeat of Santo Andre, an incident that probably won’t do much to quell growing demand the 18 year old be named to Brazil’s squad for this summer’s World Cup. Such is the outcry over Neymay’s status, that one enterprising TV crew took to harassing Dunga in front of the manager’s home.

Seems a shame no one is willing to challenge Jerry Manuel in similar fashion over Jose Reyes batting 3rd. Where’s Roni when we need him?

FanGraphs’ Carruth : The Phillies Just Made Ryan Howard The New Mo Vaughn

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 1:25 pm by

At some point late last night after news of Philadelphia lavishing a 5 year, $125 million contract extension on slugger Ryan Howard — who still had two years to go on his existing pact — one keen observer mused the deal “will take him past his 37th birthday. By contrast, David Ortiz won’t be 35 ’til November.”  “Howard doesn’t even have to fall off a cliff in the next five years for this deal to be bad. It’s bad on day one,” pronounced Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra (“while he’s better than he was on defense, he’s still bad and, before this contract was signed, seems like a guy who was on the DH-express”), and while Calcaterra is quick to cite Howard’s solid citizenry, that’s not nearly enough to impress FanGraph’s Matt Carruth who confesses, “when the news first broke and the details started to emerge, I was tempted to fill this entire article with just me laughing.”

Projecting Howard™s performance from 2012-7 is incredibly difficult. We™re not only looking very far into the future, but we™re doing so with a hitting profile that historically ages awfully. Richie Sexson, Cecil Fielder, Mo Vaugn, David Ortiz, Tony Clark and others are among Ryan Howard™s most comparable hitters according to Baseball-Reference. All of them dropped off harshly in their early 30s. About the only success story in Howard™s top ten comparables in Willie McCovey.

Even if you think baseball™s salary per win goes up to $4.25 million this coming offseason and rises at a 5% clip every winter through 2017, Howard will need to produce an average of 4.75 wins from 2012 through 2017 just in order to justify his salary. If you factor in that Howard gets (even more) long-term security from this deal, then that average production levels goes up to 5.3 wins.

In other words, Howard will need six seasons that were better than his 2009 season, except over his 32-37 years. I™m not sure I would lay even money on him achieving even half of that. This contract is both incredibly risky and unnecessary since Howard was already signed through 2011. Say hello to baseball™s newest worst contract.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Bernie Miklasz concurs with many of the negative opinions about the Howard extension, arguing it “seems to be an example of an overanxious front office working against itself.” Of course, Milasz is well aware that such a windfall for Howard will make things that much harder for the Cards to retain Albert Pujols (or for the Brewers to keep Prince Fielder).  And therein lies the genius of Ruben Amaro —he’s laid the groundwork for one, possibly two otherworldly sluggers to leave the National League and sign with the Yankees, Boston or Anaheim in the near future.

04.26.10

Jimmy Bell Went To A Fancy Dress Party, And A Football Riot Broke Out

Posted in Football at 7:11 pm by

Accrington Stanley assistant manager Jimmy Bell claims he was publicly humiliated by security goons at Gresty Park this past Saturday, and at the risk of making light of an alleged assault, how could this incident have possibly not turned up on You Tube? From the Lancashire Telegraph’s Sam Chadderton :

Mr Bell had been walking over to applaud the 186 ˜absolutely magnificent™ travelling Stanley supporters for their vocal support during the 5-1 defeat at Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.

But as he approached the fans, who had come in various fancy dress outfits, he was tackled by club stewards.

(photo taken from Matt D Gardner‘s Flickr page)

It prompted a pitch invasion by some of the Accrington supporters, dressed as Fred Flintstone, Batman and Robin, who came to Bell™s aid as chaos broke out in front of 3,800 stunned supporters.

Mr Bell said he had a bruised throat after being struck by a steward™s knee in the melee.

The Football Association has launched an investigation. Mr Bell said he would be making a complaint to police once the FA inquiry was complete.

Chavo Pederast, Unvailable For Comment

Posted in Fashion, Rock Und Roll at 5:58 pm by

$20 from Josiah Hughes. As the product description hopefully states, “both groups have caused riots, both embrace DIY.”