12.29.10

From The Hoff To Haddaway : Dirk’s (Diabolically Poor) Musical Taste

Posted in Basketball at 6:31 pm by

Let no one accuse Dirk Notwitzki of failing to make constructive use of his time while injured. Also, it must be stressed the above clip isn’t even close to the most embarrassing/confusing video Dirk has ever appeared in.

Palmeiro’s Steroid Denial : That’s His (Needle) Story & He’s Sticking To It

Posted in Baseball at 4:22 pm by

Rafael Palmeiro’s 2005 suspension for use of performance enhancing drugs was thought by many to be a serious blow to his Hall Of Fame chances, and a subsequent explanation (ie. ratting on Miguel Tejada) wasn’t thought to have done Raffy much good in the court of public opinion. Still, Palmeiro doggedly continues his attempts at reputation repair, telling SI.com’s Mel Antonen, “I was telling the truth then, and I am telling the truth now,”

“I don’t know what else I can say. I have never taken steroids,” Palmeiro, 46, said in a phone interview. “For people who think I took steroids intentionally, I’m never going to convince them. But I hope the voters judge my career fairly and don’t look at one mistake.”

Palmeiro described the 2005 season as a “nightmare,” and said that he doesn’t know if he’ll ever get over the pain. He said that while Tejada gave him the vitamin B-12, Palmeiro’s wife, Lynne, injected him with the liquid vitamin.

“And, we did it only once. Miguel Tejada had nothing to do with it, and I’m sorry people said that I was blaming him,” Palmeiro said. “It was my mistake. I should have known what I was putting into my body. I am accountable, and I have paid the price. But, it wasn’t steroids. Vitamin B-12 gives you energy. It doesn’t enhance your performance.”

Three days before Major League Baseball announced his suspension, Palmeiro found comfort in making a call to President George W. Bush at the White House. (Bush, a former owner of the Texas Rangers, had called Palmeiro to congratulate him on his 3,000th hit.)

“I had a number for him, and it was a very difficult call to make because he had been so supportive of me,” Palmeiro told SI.com. “I didn’t want him to read about it in the newspaper or hear it on television.

“He’s always given me good advice, and that day he told me that he was behind me. He told me to just tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may. He told me to tell the truth and stick with it.”

Bow-Tied Tool : Vick Deserved To Die

Posted in Dogs, Gridiron at 1:10 pm by

Described by Jon Stewart sometime ago as “a partisan, sanctimonious hack”, putrid pundit Tucker Carlson used an appearance subbing for the equally loathsome Sean Hannity on Fox News last night to accomplish the near-impossible ; ie., generate empathy for MIchael Vick amongst non-Iggles fans and dog lovers alike.

Likening President Obama’s praise for the Eagles’ giving a convicted felon a second chance to “getting behind someone who murdered dogs”, Carlson opined that Vick, “should’ve been executed”.

Few sensible persons want to declare Vick the World’s Cuddliest Person merely on the strength of one other-worldly season (last night excepted). But what sort of a teaching moment does Carlson believe would be provided by putting Vick to death? If Vick’s acts of cruelty were so profound, has Carlson considered lifting a finger to aid the cause of animal welfare rather than bemoan such a huge blown opportunity for Fox News (ie. the televised execution of a black man)?

If you were to contend that Vick’s sentence should’ve been longer or that his attempts at public service (or association with a dubious animal organization) don’t even come close to balancing the scales, you’d get no argument from this corner. But he served his time, has yet to commit a similar offense, and as such, deserves the same rights as any other ex-con. It’s the height of hysteria to claim he has Obama’s support for anything besides, y’know, not killing any more dogs. If calling for lynchings executions is the new modus operandi on Fox News, perhaps Carlson could volunteer to flip the switch himself?

Ozzie Kin To Jenks : Fat, Drunk & Stupid Having Marital Problems Is No Way To Be A Closer

Posted in Baseball, twitter twatter at 10:41 am by

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.

12.28.10

Salisbury To L.A. Times : Yes, That Was My Cock, But It’s No Big Thing

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Journalism, Sports Radio, Sports TV at 4:22 pm by

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.”

A Late Contender For “Dubious Coaching Decison Of 2010”

Posted in Gridiron at 2:33 pm by

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.

12.27.10

Independent Filmmaker / Point Guard Begs To Stay In Southern California

Posted in Basketball at 7:03 pm by

(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.