06.29.10

Nachman : Take Me Out To The (Insanely Loud, Annoying) Ballgame

Posted in Baseball at 6:26 pm by

“Today™s crowd, raised on the hysteria of rock concerts and crazed TV show jump-cuts and hype,” opines The Columnists.com’s Gerald Nachman (above), “don™t seem to notice how the surrounding racket at otherwise handsome and tasteful modern ball parks has done everything it can to ruin the classic human dimensions of the game by drowning it out in gimmickry and superfluous noise.” So there’s one thumbs-down for the educational credibility of Reyes University, then, as Nachman recounts a grueling evening at SF’s AT&T Park spent trying to concentrate on the Giants and Rockies (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

The noise between innings–and between batters–was excruciating, the music and visual hype cranked up to hysterical levels as the scoreboard exhorted fans throughout the game to ˜MAKE MORE NOISE!!! A robot organist tried with pathetic insistence to energize the crowd. Meanwhile, the Jumbotron flashed so much endless and useless information on the confusing scoreboard (like watching a TV game at home on a screen littered with arcane stats) that it all but obscured the modest game below. It was hard to locate the one thing you wanted to keep track of–the balls, strikes, outs and who was at bat.

The fans obliged unconvincingly, having by now been trained like Pavlovian dogs to howl when a bell clangs, but the maniacal order to MAKE MORE NOISE!!! went largely unheeded; even the most exuberant fans have by now pretty much learned to ignore the incessantly raucous sound battering.

The female public address announcer shrieked the name of every man who came to bat as if was the ninth game of the World Series and everything was on the line: œNow batting¦Juan Urrrrrr-eeeee-bay!!! All that bush league screeching for the hometown nine has worn everyone down–yet it goes on mindlessly. As someone said, America is a Big Event country, in which everything is built into a monumental moment–chili cook-offs on TV food shows, models in runway match-ups, brides choosing their wedding gown. Any routine human endeavor has become a heavyweight championship fight on TV. But it has now spread to all parts of the culture off TV, even this quietest of sports–outside of tennis and golf, which somehow have resisted the marketing of excitement.

Nachman seems glum that today’s ballgame experience differs radically from afternoons spent with his dad watching the Oakland Oaks, and while I’m tempted to dismiss his criticism as the ramblings of an old crank, he’s not entirely full of shit. If you’re actually interested in baseball rather than excessive displays of public douchebaggery, a major league ballpark isn’t necessarily the most welcome environment.

West Yorkshire Rugby League Team : Homophobic Chants Weren’t Loud Or Plentiful Enough To Justify Fine

Posted in MMA, Rugby at 3:31 pm by

Putting aside for a moment whether or not supporters of a rugby league team once known as The Glassblowers have the right to abuse anyone, Castleford RLFC have appealed a £40,000 fine after a segment of their fans aimed homophobic chants at Wrexham Crusaders’ Gareth Thomas (above). The club’s defense, as reported by the Guardian’s Andy Wilson, will go down in history as something almost as flimsy any anything conjured by Robert Chambers’ attorneys.

“To say we are disappointed and shocked is an understatement,” said their chief executive, Richard Wright. “The evidence does not support the decision and does not in any way support the scale of the penalty. We totally refute the outcome of the hearing.”

They have engaged Rod Findlay, formerly the RFL’s own legal adviser, who said: “There was some chanting on the day, we agreed this with the tribunal panel, there were three incidents lasting only a few moments, two of which were drowned out by public address announcements.

“The club condemns any person who makes or chants obscene remarks towards players or officials. But the charges against the club are not that there was chanting, they are that the club failed to take its best endeavours to prevent or stop any chanting. This the club refutes totally. The club has a well-established system for dealing with chanting and could not have done any more on the day.

Half of the £40,000 fine has been suspended, but the Tigers will still have to pay £40,000 immediately because a suspended fine of £20,000 following last year’s incident “ in which their supporters threw beer bottles on to the pitch and abused the match officials “ will now be activated.

With All Due Respect To Robert Christgau, Snoogans194 Is The New Dean Of American Rock Criticism

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression at 12:34 pm by

Having not watched a ton of Marlins games this season, I was unaware Scott Stapp, much like Bobby Valentine, was close friends with Jeffrey Loria.  Mocking the artistic output of the former Creed vocalist would ordinarily provide all the sport of blowing up an ant hill with a bazooka, but the young analyst shown above has the sort of POV that’s sorely lacking from most music blogging in 2010.

Big Z Receiving Counsel From Renowned Expert In Acting Like A Jackass

Posted in Baseball, Mental Health at 12:09 pm by

While Walkoff Walk’s Kris Liakos corrently points out Trey Hillman and Fredi Gonzalez recently lost their jobs managing clubs with lower payrolls (and presumably lower expectations) than Lou Piniella’s brutally bad Cubs, MLB Network analyst Kevin Millar revealed he’s been a mentor of sorts to recently suspended Chicago P Carlos Zambrano (above)The Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan caught a bit of Millar’s act yesterday, and with all due respect to the Dancer In The Dark, Dr. Bruno Bettleheim’s got nuffin’ to worry about.

“The main thing he wanted to get across was that at times guys like Carlos, they don’t know how to handle or how to fire up a team,” Millar said on “MLB Tonight.” “There wasn’t one play that made him mad, it was just the whole team and the way they’ve been playing made him mad and then he was frustrated, he said, after his inning and came in and was basically trying to pump all the guys up.”

Millar said Zambrano told him last week he wanted Carlos Silva “to do something to the team because he’s doing well and Carlos Zambrano said that he knew he wasn’t the right guy to do this at this time because of his struggles.”

Millar said he told Zambrano: “Straight up, I said… ‘You can’t say the team’s playing like girls … You can’t say that this whole team that’s not clicking for some reason’ or ‘We’re not playing hard’ because he’s a big part of that problem.

“Now him (Zambrano’s) going to anger management counseling…I think this is the new fad that we’re trying to show that at least there’s an effort there.”

Cowley : Kenny Williams Covets Notorious Baseball Hater

Posted in Baseball at 10:45 am by

I’m not sure which is more amazing ; consecutive Nationals items on CSTB or that neither of them discuss dismembering Willie Harris.  Either way, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley reports the surging White Sox and their general manager Kenny Williams have expressed interest in Washington 1B/DH/strikeout machine Adam Dunn.

Dunn’s name has gained steam in the rumor mill, with the Nationals now willing to part ways with their free-agent-to-be first baseman and try to build a talented group of young arms around pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg.

But Williams is working against the Los Angeles Angels, who are starting to turn up their efforts to acquire Dunn. And most of the Sox’ highly regarded pitching prospects were dealt in previous trades to acquire Jake Peavy and Juan Pierre.

After right-hander Daniel Hudson, there’s a big drop in the Sox’ system to Carlos Torres and Santos Rodriguez. One movable piece would be third baseman Brent Morel, who seems to be in a logjam behind Dayan Viciedo and the three-year, $14 million extension Williams gave Mark Teahen this winter.

What became clear last weekend was that money no longer is the issue for adding Dunn, considering he’s making $12 million this year and almost half of that is off the books with June about to flip.

06.28.10

The Sports Art of David Choate

Posted in Baseball, Modern Art at 8:24 pm by

Prior to a heads-up from a friend earlier tonight, I’d not seen the work of David Choate.  His portraits of Joe DiMaggio, Hanley Ramirez and Calvin Borel are equal parts funny and haunting, though none of those earlier efforts are likely to inspire as many “can you make a t-shirt out of this?” requests as the above rendition of Nats starter Stephen Strasburg (currently locked up in a nationally Sutcliffed-to-death duel with the Braves’ Tim Hudson).

June 28 : Hell Is Other People(‘s Tweets)

Posted in twitter twatter at 8:11 pm by

  • Strasburg thru 4 IP vs. ATL : 4 hits, 1 walk, 2 K’s. Hudson’s been as good/better, Sutcliffe horrible, sober or drunk #
  • Jason Bay will have more than 4 HR’s at the all star break. Unless it starts raining. Mets 1, Fish 1, top of the 1st #

    (Damon’s of West  Hartford. Where the UFL’s movers and shakers wind down after a long day of wishing they worked for the team tennis league)

  • looking for love in all the wrong places? RT @theUFL: UFL COO @UFLBillPeterson is at Damon’s in West Hartford, fans should go say hi! #
  • fish/mets in San Juan RT @lenno212: Based on the pregame music selections, I’m thinking “Who Let the Dogs Out” is coming up very soon. #
  • a dear musician friend was twit-dissed today by a rocket scientist who previously called #GHA “aids-ridden bug eaters”. the internet sucks #
  • True Hoop’s Henry Abbott ranks the NBA’s top owners. Guess which guy named Dolan didn’t make the top 10? http://es.pn/d5mzN5 #
  • early reaction to the much delayed vinyl version of the new Futureheads LP : fewer good songs w/ each successive album (this is #4 #
  • @BobsBlitz Time.com credits TBL diss to Dan Fletcher. Not so anonymous. in reply to BobsBlitz #
  • Chass : “The wife of a general manager once told him if he hired Valentine to manage the team, she would leave him” http://bit.ly/990ZrJ #
  • @TheBigLead can’t feel too bad about being named one of Time’s “Most Overrated Blogs”. Who reads Time in 2010? #
  • #BRA v #NED on Friday? Great day for me to have the dish installed after the match is over. #
  • Polanco might be out for the rest of the season. Heck of a way for Wright to make the ASG. #
  • could it be this one? http://bit.ly/9PZ7jM RT @mlbtraderumors: Mystery Team After Cliff Lee http://bit.ly/apNlRu #mlb #
  • Dierkes tries valiantly to find contracts as onerous as Zambrano’s for the Cubs. He doesn’t succeed. http://bit.ly/a1hu9Q #
  • Juan scores off a cross that could’ve found 4 unmarked Brazilians #BRA 1, #CHI 0, 34th minute #worldcup #
  • NO BORSCHT FOR KENYON RT @DLeagueShow: The new NBA game show “Let’s Make Cap Room!” Nets waive G Keyon Dooling; move saves team $3.3m # Read the rest of this entry »