As Rob Warmowski reported last March, Oney Guillen, son to White Sox skipper Ozzie and a self-styled baseball expert, has fully embraced social media, in particular, the ability to air major grievances via Twitter. Fortunately for those of us who woke up late on Wednesday looking for dirt, Oney’s only gotten worse. Having seen former South Side closer Bobby Jenks — recently signed by Boston to either set up or supplant Jonathan Papelbon — bury his dad with comments to MLB.com’s Scott Merkin (“once they signed Adam Dunn and gave him my number, I knew it was official….why would I come back to that negativity?..I’m looking forward to playing for a manager who knows how to run a bullpen”), the younger Guillen mounted a stirring defense of his Pops, as described in the following uncredited Chicago Sun-Times item ;
Guillen posted several responses via Twitter, using explicit language in some: “i thought u were a man not some punk who runs away and talks [b.s.]. u coward. say it to there face when u were with them”
Oney also posted: “and u say the manager didnt trust u? he kept putting ur fat [—] there and u kept blowing it, he never took u away from that role unreal”
The Twitter posts turned personal as Oney Guillen pointed out some of Jenks’s off-the-field issues.
Former ESPN football expert/Dallas radio mouthpiece Sean Salisbury is on the COMEBACK TRAIL, promoting a new internet radio program, “Salibury Unfiltered”, and coming clean to the LA Times’ T.J. Simers about an accusation that’s long overshadowed his analytical prowess (cough) ; to wit, the claim of a female colleague at Bristol U. that Salisbury had sent her an unsolicited phone camera pic of his baloney pony.
For the longest time he denied the incident took place. He blamed deadspin.com for reporting it, went into e-mail rage, filed a lawsuit against the Internet site, but then dropped it.
Now he says he’s “100% responsible for doing such a stupid frat thing,” but short sentences are not his forte.
He can’t talk about what happened without letting everyone know he didn’t squeal on the people who were with him, did nothing so bad like others who have gone to jail, and protests over and over again, “I don’t think the punishment fits the crime.”
He became a punch line, he says, the barbs stinging so much he wouldn’t come out of his home for six months beyond taking his kids to school. He says he lost self-respect and couldn’t get a job.
“I went from being on TV every day to falling off the map. I didn’t harass anybody or beat anybody up and yet I’ve been the butt of jokes for four years.”
He blames others for not getting past what happened, as if there is a long line of those who really care.
He wants to dispute the accuracy of deadspin.com’s reporting, and yet doesn’t dispute the fact he took a picture of his privates and showed it. What more needs to be known?
He says things like, “I’m the poster child for stupidity,” then quickly adds, “but people have done worse.”
He refers folks to his Twitter feed, but when it’s mentioned someone on the comeback trail, given his previous sophomoric behavior, shouldn’t be posting comments about Kim Kardashian’s (backside), he flips out.
“Because I like [backside], is that wrong?” he snaps. “Come on, it is Sean unfiltered. That’s one thing that is never going to change.”
Perhaps Falcons head coach Mike Smith (above) bumped his head on that rollicking “Play60” school bus ride? With 2:53 remaining, trailing New Orleans 17-14 and looking at a 4th and 6 scenario on the Atlanta 43 yard line, Smith opted to punt. As you’re probably aware, he put the ball back in the hands of Drew Brees (who’d led the Saints on an 90 yard drive in their previous possession) who promptly collected a pair of first downs to put the game on ice. Hindsight might be 20/20, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jeff Schultz has no qualms about blaming Smith thusly , “Strategy : Epic fail.”
How do you pull Ryan off the field? The quarterback has been nothing but clutch. He excels in the two-minute offense. He excells in no-huddle. Actually, a case could be made that Ryan often is better in pressure situations and in the fourth quarter than in other situations.
Also worth noting: The Falcons went into the game with the NFL™s best fourth-down percentage (84.6 percent, 11 for 13).
In September, Ryan led a comeback win at New Orleans. With the Falcons trailing 21-17 in the fourth quarter, Ryan took them on a nine-play, 85-yard touchdown drive, finishing with a 22-yard score to Roddy White to give Atlanta a 24-21 lead. The Saints rallied for a game-tying field goal, but the Falcons won the game with a field goal in overtime. It was a run-dominated, field goal drive but it was Ryan who set the tone with his calmness.
This season, Ryan has outdueled four of the league™s top quarterbacks: Brees (New Orleans), Carson Palmer (Cincinnati), Joe Flacco (Baltimore) and Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay). He has the best touchdown-interception ratio (26-9) of his career. He looks ready for the postseason.
It just would™ve been nice to see him get one more chance Monday.
Despite calling Carson Palmer one of the league’s top quarterbacks, Schultz is in the right. Even Atlanta had been pinned deeper in their own territory, I’d struggle to sympathize with Smith. As it stood, Ryan was a completion or two away from putting the Falcons within range of a game-tying field goal. For a guy whose poise is routinely cited, it was awfully werid to see the ball taken out of Ryan’s hands.
(not, I should stress, a contemporary photograph of Baron Davis)
And not simply because he has great seats for this sort of thing, either. Baron Davis’ move from the Warriors to the Clippers has been marked by injuries, lots of losing, questions about Boom Dizzle’s fitness, and most recently, verbal abuse (in public) from noted basketball authority Donald Sterling. And in spite of all this, Davis tells Fanhouse’s Chris Thomassen, “I don’t want to leave. I’m here. I came here for a reason.”
“I just look at it like you brought me here and you got to give me an opportunity,” said Davis, who is averaging just 8.8 points and 6.3 assists, the lowest numbers since his rookie season of 1999-2000. He has battled a left knee injury and claims by Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro that he didn’t report to training camp in proper shape.
“This is the first year I’ve been here where we haven’t had any trades,” said Davis, making $13.05 million this season. “The first year (2008-09) they wiped the whole roster clean after seven games (Zach Randolph was the primary piece acquired after the 11th game in a deal in which the Clippers dispatched Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas).
“Now, it looks like we have some stability, it would be great to just be here and now take this unit, if this is the unit that we’re going to have, to take this team into the future for the next 2 ½ years that I’m here, and make this a winning organization,” Davis said. “And I know that I can do that and I will do that now knowing that there’s stability.”
It’s a little hard to reconcile Davis’ complaints about the transient nature of life in the NBA with what his coach continues to insist is, well, a matter of sloth. But as Thomassen points out, an overweight/underachieving Davis would be all but impossible to move, unless it’s a matter onerous contracts being swapped. You don’t have to go very far back in the time machine to recall when Davis was one of the most exciting players in the league — his precipitous slide into a non-entity, while depressing, need not be how the story ends.
Activist, prankster or just a fella who can’t resist a well-maintained natural-grass field? However you look at it, ltalian soccer gate-crasher Mario Ferri‘s cult of personality is unlikely to suffer serious damage after revelations in The Guadian his recent getaway scheme was foiled by some over-zealous social networking.
Ferri’s luck, and his cunning, ran out in Abu Dhabi over Christmas following his arrest for running onto the pitch at the Club World Cup final, dressed in his customary Superman T-shirt with the added slogan “Free Sakineh”, a reference to the Iranian woman who risks being put to death by stoning.
His passport in the hands of local police as he awaited trial, Ferri decided to smuggle himself out of the Emirates in the hold of a passing cruise ship, only to be promptly arrested after he made the mistake of announcing his secret plan on Facebook, telling fans: “I hope they don’t catch me, otherwise I will be in a heap of trouble.”
Ferri’s problems will only mount if he can make it home, where he is officially under house arrest after a series of pitch invasions, starting with Sampdoria’s home game to Napoli in May, where he disguised himself as a steward before leaping over the hoardings wearing the statement “Cassano in Nazionale”, a call to Italian national coach Marcello Lippi to pick eccentric talent Antonio Cassano.
Ferri was escorted off the pitch by Cassano himself, who told officials: “He’s a good boy, I’ll vouch for him.”
Though it’s far too early to say anyone could challenge Isiah Thomas for the position of “FIU’s Biggest Public Embarrassment”, a dark horse contender might’ve just emerged. The AP and the Miami Herald are reporting FIU IF Garrett Wittels — nationally known for his 56 game-and-counting hitting streak — was charged with the rape of two 17 year-olds in the Bahamas over the weekend. From New Times’ Tim Elfrink ;
Wittels and his friends — 21-year-olds Robert Rothschild and Jonathan Oberti — were arrested last week over a sexual assault on December 20 at the Atlantis Resort and Casino in Nassau, reports the Miami Herald.
Wittels and Rothschild face two charges of raping the girls, who are American, while Oberti was charged with raping one of the girls, Bahamian Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez tells the Post.
The men were released on $10,000 bond after a Thursday hearing.
Wittels father tells the Herald that the charges are bogus. He says Wittels and his friends met the girls at a casino and accompanied them to a party, and that the charges only came after they realized Wittels was a well-known athlete.
“The next morning, they found out who [Wittels] was, and that was the road they took,” Michael Wittels, an orthopedist in Bay Harbor Islands, told the paper. “He hasn’t been found guilty of anything. I hope [the media] doesn’t hang him for nearly an allegation. That’s all this is.”
Perhaps the only surprising thing about Mike Singletary (above) being relieved of his head coaching duties in San Francisco is that he was ultimately outlasted by Oakland’s Tom Cable. The SF vacancy presents an opportunity for 29 year-old club president Jed York, “to try to become the first strong, cunning, feared 49ers leader since the forced exit of his uncle, Eddie DeBartolo Jr.” writes the San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami. Trouble, is getting to the stage will likely require “hiring someone who will tell the York family that almost everything they have done has been all wrong.”
Can York go on a search to find someone to tell him exactly how foolish his family has been?
A poor owner — such as Jed’s predecessor, his father, John — would never do that. An immature heir — like Jed was in his first few years as an executive — would avoid that at all costs.
On Sunday evening, York told an NFL Network reporter that current top personnel executive Trent Baalke would be a candidate for the GM job.
But Baalke has to be a courtesy candidate, or there are problems ahead. Elevating Baalke would be another in a line of cautious York moves, hiring the safe, cheap and familiar instead of the bold, expensive and challenging.
The timeline: Fire Singletary; hire a general manager with deep NFL connections; then huddle with the general manager to hire an aggressive, quarterback-friendly coach to fix an offense that Singletary has driven into the ground.
Not for the first time, I owe a debt of gratitude to that treasure trove of ‘tard metal press releases, Blabbermouth.net, for linking to the following claims concerning Sammy Hager’s forthcoming autobiography. From Paul Libertore and the Marin Independent Journal :
“The book’s basically done, but the editors want me to go deeper in a couple of areas,” he explained. “They said, ‘There were problems in Van Halen? Well, what kind of problems?’ The way I’ve written this book is that I’m just telling the stories, from childhood until now. It’s humorous in places, there are sad things, inspirational things.”
I mentioned to him that I’ve been reading Keith Richards’ page-turner, “Life,” an often-harrowing rock icon memoir that doesn’t pull any punches. Sammy says his book doesn’t either.
“It’s sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, tequila and success and cars and money and fame and fortune,” he told me. “I’ve gone over the top. It really is crazy. I was shocked when I read my own book. It floored me. I said, ‘Wow, what a guy.’ I’ve had the most complete friggin’ life on the planet. I can imagine people thinking this guy couldn’t have done all that in one lifetime. But I’ve been a busy boy.”
Yesterday marked the 2nd anniversary of G Roger Mason sinking a dramatic 3-pointer with seconds remaining against Phoenix to claim a victory for San Antonio, but it seems Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni either cares little for history, sentiment or simply doesn’t remember who Mason is. Or perhaps some combination of the 3? In the aftermath of an awfully impressive defeat of Chicago at MSG on Christmas Day, the New York Post’s Mark Berman picks an usual Knicks storyline to fixate on — another DNP for Mason, who seems inextricably locked in D’Antoni’s doghouse.
“Things have been a little different than I imagined, yes,” Mason told The Post in his first remarks on the subject. “I’ll continue to work and be a good teammate and cheer them on and wait for an opportunity. I haven’t really had one yet.”
Mason shot poorly in preseason and has appeared in just eight games. With Toney Douglas banged up with a strained back and shoulder sprain, D’Antoni hasn’t turned to Mason, who runs the point during practice scrimmages.
“I don’t think I was really given an opportunity yet,” Mason said. “In preseason, I didn’t shoot as well as I wanted to. Most preseasons, it takes me to the regular season to get going.
“I’m just hitting the prime of my career,” Mason added. “Ideally, you wouldn’t want to be in scenario where you’re not playing.”
When asked whether he’d play Mason because of his Christmas heroics against his former team, D’Antoni responded: “Who?”
When revelations regarding the sex lives of Jets head coach Rex Ryan and wife Michelle hit the net this week, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised at the number of fans, writers and players who considered the matter either a non-story or an unnecessary peak inside the Ryans’ bedroom. I continue to believe the manner in which the story spread and the degree to which the mainstreammedia ignores a Deadspin scoop until they risk looking foolish for having done so, is a pretty legit news item in and of itself (the New York Post of all publications, went with a gag cover more than a day after the story had appeared in every other conceivable outlet). However, there’s one big portion of the Ryan tale that’s gone largely unexamined, possibly because it’s the kind of thing no one wants to ask Tony Dungy to talk about. To wit, the Ryans’ embrace of the swinging lifestyle, or more specifically, Rex’s alleged desire to see his wife “take a big one in all 3 holes”. In what Josh Rosen submits as a candidate for The Year’s Worst Column, the Miami Herald’s Armando Saluergo argues, “we as a society have to draw the line for the sake and safety of our children.”
It can be argued no one has the right to delve into or judge what Ryan and his wife do behind closed doors — or apparently in some videos outdoors. That’s turning a blind eye to truth and reality, not to mention morality.
Ryan is supposed to be the Jets’ leader, a leader of men with large wallets, muscles and egos. He also is the boss to a staff of very bright assistants. And all these Alpha males under Ryan are expected to continue respecting a coach who allegedly pimps out his wife to strangers on the Internet?
I don’t know exactly where that morality line is drawn and I haven’t the credentials to draw it. But I know, if the allegations are true, trading one’s wife in group sex is way, way, way over that line.
That is aberrant. That is a betrayal of vows. It is a departure from God’s supernatural plan for natural man.
Anyone who defends or rationalizes the behavior probably can defend and rationalize anything. They can give a pass to any departure from normalcy.
The notion that an NFL head coach needs to adhere to “God’s supernatural plan for natural man” oughta be far more chilling to any thoughtful person than the Ryans’ refusal to conform to mainstream notions of a healthy marriage. Claiming that Ryan, “pimps his wife out to strangers on the Internet” suggests that Mrs. Ryan is some sort of unwitting participant — who amongst us can say with any certainty the former Ravens assistant coach and son of Buddy Ryan, wasn’t pimped out to strangers himself?
Saluergo is 100% correct when he says he lacks the credentials to draw the morality line — he might even lack the comprehension skills or basic knowledge of modern sexual practices. This is probably splitting hairs for self-styled thought police like Saluergo, but Rex Ryan’s apparent inclination towards voyeurism and/or cuckoldry isn’t technically the same thing as “group sex”. And man, do I wish I could hear Chris Mortensen recite that exact line on television.