05.31.11

Dan Snyder Isn’t Paranoid : Everyone Really Is Out To Get Him

Posted in Sports Journalism, The Law at 9:42 pm by

That Redskins owner Dan Snyder would use litigation as a means to intimidate his DC critics is already well-established.  However,  just when you thought this ethically-challenged creep had sunk to a subterranean level, it turns out he’s getting awfully close to the center of the earth.  Not content with bullying the likes of City Paper’s Dave McKenna, Snyder has now targeted those with the temerity to simply link to McKenna’s work, as his colleague Mike Madden explains :

According to the court papers Snyder’s legal team sent the Washington Post, they’re interested in learning why blogger Dan Steinberg linked to City Paper’s “Cranky Redskins Fan’s Guide to Dan Snyder.” Steinberg writes about the off-field antics of just about every sports figure in the area, and he’s often linked to McKenna’s work; the two are friendly rivals on the same culture-and-business-of-sports beat. Snyder’s team told the Post in February they intended “to explore whether there was any agreement between McKenna and Steinberg to cross-promote McKenna’s pieces on Snyder.”

By delivering the subpoena, they showed they meant it. Among other requests, it seeks, from both Steinberg and the Post as an institution:

“All Documents evidencing or Relating to any Communication between You and McKenna pertaining to Snyder… All Documents evidencing or Relating to any Communication between You and McKenna pertaining to Snyder’s wife, Tanya Snyder… All Documents evidencing or Relating to any Communications between You and McKenna pertaining to the [City Paper cover art]… All Documents evidencing or Relating to the reasons for the inclusion of links in Your Washington Post columns, blogs, or on Twitter to McKenna’s City Paper articles… and All Documents evidencing or Relating to Your policies Relating to the inclusion of links in Your columns to other sources.”

Snyder’s lawyers also want to have Steinberg in for a deposition.

Rubin : Mets Must Choose Between Their Everything-Wrong-With-Him SS And Non-Superstar 3B

Posted in Baseball at 9:25 pm by

With a item that’s substantially more depressing than the Mets’ failure to provide adequate run support for R.A. Dickey earlier this evening, ESPN’s Adam Rubin — following a prior blog post that claimed the Amazins’ would consider signing Jose Reyes to an extension while preferring to shop David Wright — elaborated on the reasoning behind such a decision.

After adding whatever Reyes commands — say $17 million a season for five years if he stays — to the 2012 salaries of Johan Santana ($24 million) and Jason Bay ($16 million), the source predicted the Mets will not have the means to retain Wright at $15 million as well.

Under the $17 million salary assumption for Reyes, that would tie up $72 million along with Santana, Bay and Wright.

And what happens if the Mets are unable to trade closer Francisco Rodriguez at the deadline and his contract vests at $17.5 million for 2012 with 55 games finished? That would be financially catastrophic for the organization. Yet manager Terry Collins has continued to use K-Rod even in non-save situations, including in a four-run win Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Rodriguez already has 20 games finished, on pace for 61 — six over the threshold for his contract to kick in for next season.

Left unsaid by Rubin is the presumption Santana — due back some time in 2013 this summer —and Bay (who raised knocked in a run this evening raising his season’s total to 10) are immovable at their current salaries.

Kareem’s History Lesson For Pippen

Posted in Basketball at 5:47 pm by

(tell your old man….Walton…Lanier…up and down the court…hey, we’re in a cockpit! Do we really have to do this again?)

You might have to go back to Bobby Knight suggesting rape victims “just sit back and enjoy it” to pick the last time anyone in the world of sports made a public statement as universally ridiculed as Scottie Pippen’s recently claim that LeBron James would soon supplant Michael Jordan as the NBA’s greatest player of all time.  Amongst those taking umbrage, the league’s all-star scoring leader Kareem Adbul-Jabbar, whose open letter to Pippen in today’s LA Times is less a defense of Jordan and more of a plea for greater historical perspective ;

You obviously never saw Wilt Chamberlain play who undoubtedly was the greatest scorer this game has ever known. When did MJ ever average 50.4 points per game plus 25.7 rebounds? (Wilt in the 1962 season when blocked shot statistics were not kept). We will never accurately know how many shots Wilt blocked. Oh, by the way in 1967 and 68, Wilt was a league leader in assists. Did MJ ever score 100 points in a game? How many times did MJ score more than 60 points in a game? MJ led the league in scoring in consecutive seasons for 10 years but he did this in an NBA that eventually expanded into 30 teams vs. when Wilt played and there were only 8 teams.

In terms of winning, Michael excelled as both an emotional and scoring leader but Bill Russell’s Celtics won eight consecutive NBA Championships. Bill’s rebounding average per game is over 22.5 lifetime, MJs best rebounding years was eight per game (1989). But we will never know exactly how many shots Bill Russell blocked because again, they never kept that statistic while he played. However, if you ask anybody that played against Russell, they will just roll their eyes and say he blocked all the shots he wanted to block in the crucial moments of a game.

“Bill played on a total of 11 championship teams and as you very well know, Scottie,” scolds Jabbar, “the ring is the thing, and everything else is just statistics.”  By that measure, we’ll have to assume Kareem will have no objection when Pippen pens “Robert Horry – Greater Than Jabbar” for an upcoming issue of ESPN The Magazine.

“Sexual Harrassment” Jackson Doesn’t Have Quite The Same Ring To It

Posted in MMA, Sports TV at 3:08 pm by

While reporter Karin Bryant considers Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (above) shoving his face into her breasts during a post-fight interview at UFC 130, “clowning around”, Yahoo’s Maggie Hendricks is less than amused, proposing Jackson’s serial abuse of televised media deserves a blackout.

His act is tired and old, yet we continue to interview the man and give him the publicity he needs to further his career, and that’s where MMA media is making the mistake. He thinks it’s funny to assault the people who cover his fights, who write about his movie, who give him a stage to show off the “Rampage” persona.

Let’s stop doing that. Take away his stage. Don’t ask him questions in press conferences, don’t cover his every move, don’t give him another chance to assault reporters. He may think his act is funny and cute, but there is one way to ensure that no one else finds it funny or cute. Don’t cover it.

I’m not sure how journalists would be doing their job if they were to boycott a Jackson press conference given that he’s still a headline attraction.. Publicly calling him out and providing the world with a viral video at least as embarrassing as this one, however, might be an efficient means of hurting his earning power.

New Mets Minority Partner David Einhorn : Great At Stealing The Team From Wilpon, Merely Average At Poker

Posted in Baseball, poker, The Marketplace at 12:50 pm by

A day prior to Biz Of Baseball’s Jordan Korbitz characterizing David Einhorn’s purchase of a $200 million stake in the New York Mets as a sweetheart prelude to his eventual takeover of the club (“if Wilpon can’t fund this year’s estimated losses of $70 million, after previously borrowing $25 million from MLB to fund team operations, it is highly unlikely he will magically come up with $200 million to buy Einhorn out in three years, regardless of how the Picard lawsuit is resolved”), Newsday’s Neil Best sought to clarify Einhorn’s rep as something of a poker maven.

Though Einhorn finished 18th in the 2006 World Series Of Poker, donating his $659,730 in winnings to charity, poker veterans quizzed by Best painted a picture of a less than imposing challenger.

“He seemed like a nice guy. I was somewhat aware that he was a rich hedge fund guy and was playing for charity,” said Michael Binger, who finished 3rd. I don’t want to be negative. He was a very nice guy. But he definitely was an amateur player, so I was certainly looking forward to playing with him. He wasn’t terribly experienced from what I recall.’’

So how did he get that far? “It’s all probabilities,’’ Binger said. “The person who won that year, Jamie Gold, hasn’t done anything since then and frankly was one of the worst players ever to win, according to most accounts. There is a lot of luck in the short term in tournament poker. On average the better players will make it further and deeper, but that doesn’t preclude an outlier.’’

Prahlad Friedman, a poker pro who finished 20th in the 2006 event, initially wasn’t sure he recalled playing against Einhorn. Then he asked whether Einhorn was the guy with the handprints on his sweatshirt who “kind of looks like ‘The 40-year Old Virgin,’’’

Like other pros, Friedman said the WSOP Main Event is not the best way to measure poker acumen. “Jamie Gold won that year [in ‘06],’’ Friedman said. “He was not a very good player. There have been some players in the past that aren’t that great that have won the whole thing. Just because he made a deep run doesn’t mean he’s a winning poker player who could do it for a living.’’

One Atlanta Firm’s Initiative To Address Famine Relief

Posted in Food, The Marketplace at 10:14 am by

CSTB readers are no strangers to the exceptional advertising work done by Atlanta’s Newmerica, however, their latest spot, shown above, hints at what a powerful player this company might be if they’re enlisted by say, one of the major candidates in the 2012 Presidential elections.  Seriously, that sound you just heard was the gasoline being poured over Wieden & Kennedy’s cubicles as they prepare to burn the building down for insurance money.

05.30.11

Goodbye, Columbus : Tressel’s Exit Unlikely To End Scrutiny Of OSU

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 5:30 pm by

In short succession, the price paid by Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel for turning a blind eye towards knowledge of his players receiving illegal benefits has gone from a brief suspension, a longer suspension, and finally today, a was-he-pushed-or-did-he-jump resignation. It’s not every day that a coach with Tressel’s resume is compelled to look like a gentile Bruce Pearl fall on his sword, just as it isn’t an routine occurrence that I find myself agreeing with CBS Sports’ Greg Doyel, who urges the NCAA the lower the boom, “after the silly school president bragged about what a good man his lying, scheming, sportsmanship-abusing football coach really was”.

Jim Tressel’s resignation in January — when Ohio State first learned of his deception — would have been enough to shelter Ohio State from its former coach’s behavior.  But not after that ridiculous man with the ridiculous initial tried to laugh off — tried to minimize — his coach’s indefensible actions by joking that he wouldn’t dismiss Tressel. “Let me just be very clear,” E. Gordon Gee said on March 8. “I’m just hopeful the coach doesn’t dismiss me.”

And not after the Ohio State athletics director also tolerated Tressel’s blasphemy all these months by refusing to force him out. If Gene Smith tried to fire Tressel after Tressel lied to him about the existence of violations in early December, we don’t know about it.

How, you may be asking, would we know that Smith tried unsuccessfully to fire Tressel in January, February, March or even April? This is how we’d know: Gene Smith would have resigned in disgust. Because if you’re the AD of a major Division I school — and you’re so committed to the ideals of the NCAA that you’ve spent the past five years sitting on the NCAA’s prestigious Division I basketball committee, the past 10 months as the chairman — then you couldn’t possibly stomach the thought of such a liar representing your school. And yourself. So you’d fire Jim Tressel, or you’d resign in protest. Doing neither? Congratulations, Gene Smith. Just like your absurd school president, you’ve essentially condoned Jim Tressel’s behavior for nearly five months.

(Addendum : if you thought 9am on a national holiday was a strange time for Ohio State to announce Tressel’s departure, there’s speculation the coach’s hand was forced by the pending publication of a damaging Sports Illustrated article.  Who knew Jay Horowitz was moonlighting for the OSU sports information department?)