07.31.11

Arlington, TX – An Unlikely Hotbed Of Anti-Wave Sentiment

Posted in Baseball, Mob Behavior at 7:54 pm by

 

No offense intended to the good people of Arlington or the Dallas area in general, but if you’d asked me to guess which Major League Baseball franchise would have the keen aesthetics to discourage paying customers from participating in the lemming-like practice known as The Wave, the defending AL Champions wouldn’t have been in the top 5 candidates. So that take that, baseball sophisticates in New York, Chicago, Philly and Boston, it’s the team that employs such squares as Josh Hamilton and C.J. Wilson that had the good sense to embrace Stop The Wave.net.

A cynic might suggest that perhaps in light of recent tragic events in Arlington, the Rangers’ liability insurance carrier would prefer the club continue to pour cold water on any sudden movements in the stands, no matter how contrived. But no matter the motive, ending The Wave is the sort of common sense, crowd-pleasing decision that provides a glimmer of hope for future generations.

Uncovered : The Asbury Park Equivalent Of ‘The Tape Of Only Linda’

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 2:50 pm by

Video link courtesy Dangerous Minds.  Admittedly, this is not the most flattering footage of Bruce Springsteen on the internet, though it should be said it isn’t the most embarrassing, either *  Given the tremendous global goodwill towards Springsteen, it shouldn’t take too long to figure out which nefarious individual is responsible for the above clip being leaked.  Think about it, who’d actually have something to gain by making The Boss look so schmucky?

Kevin Millar,  if this was the best you could do, I feel truly sorry for you.

That Timothy Busfield Lookalike On Subway Might Be Baseball’s Premier Knuckleballer

Posted in Baseball at 2:24 pm by

Current Padres closer Heath Bell has taken the 7 train to Citi Field. Cubs skippper Mike Quade opted for the Red Line on first regular season journey to Wrigley Field. Perhaps seeking recognition as some sort of public transport pioneer, Mets starter R.A. Dickey recounts a July 3, 2010 ride on the Washington Metro, en route to a mound duel with Nats phenom Stephen Strasburg, as told to the New York Times’ David Waldstein :

Dickey, the foil to Strasburg in the rookie sensation’s fourth career home game, sat quietly, pretending to read Yann Martel’s “Life of Pi” while he soaked in every word, including his own name, flittering around him. He wore jeans, a collared shirt and carried a backpack on that northbound train headed for the Navy Yard stop. Amid those red-clad fans, he looked more as if he was headed to work at the Smithsonian than to start for the Mets in front of a crowd of 39,214, who would pay to watch on a sunny day custom-made for baseball.

“It was kind of like an out-of-body experience,” Dickey recalled. “It was as if I was a fugitive going incognito.”

Dickey was surrounded by fans, sitting behind him, in front of him, across from him, even standing in the aisle hovering over him. They dissected the coming game and particularly the matchup, which a day earlier Dickey had described as a duel between an F-18 fighter jet against a butterfly. Dickey then listened to the fans analyze it.

“It was really a cool window into the fans,” he said. “I was so glad I was able to dis-attach from being me and was able to see what it’s like for people when they come to a baseball game. It was very surreal. I just sat there pretending to read and thinking, ‘This is kind of unbelievable.’

Of his occasional commutes to Flushing via Metro North and the 7, Dickey notes he’s encountered an appreciative, if not literate Mets fan base.

““One guy had heard I was reading ‘My Name Is Asher Lev’ by Chaim Potok,” Dickey said. “As he walked by, he recommended I read ‘The Chosen,’ too.”

07.30.11

Freak To Uncle Charlie : Velocity Ain’t Everything

Posted in Baseball at 2:12 pm by

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel preceded his club’s overpaying for acquisition of Hunter Pence by dismissing claims San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum (above) and Matt Cain qualified as “great” hurlers (“when you say somebody is great, I look up there and tonight I saw a 90 mph fastball, 92 at best,”). Asked for reply by the SF Chronicle’s Henry Schulman, the 2008 NL Cy Young Award winner wasn’t in a conciliatory mood.

Lincecum seemed floored by the quotes, especially the velocity part, saying, “They had a guy named Moyer right? Talk to him about that one.”

“It’s probably just frustration speaking,” Lincecum said. “When it comes down to it, it’s not what a person says, it’s about what goes on, on the field. There are guys who can dominate throwing 85, and there are (hitters) who can hit 97. This is the major leagues. It comes down to execution.”

Lincecum further surmised that Manuel was frustrated the Phillies lost their first series in more than a month.

“They’re not used to it,” he said. “It might have something to do with what happened in the NLCS, too. You’ll have to ask him. Cainer threw up the same numbers I threw. He doesn’t have to hump it up. With his stuff, he still dominates teams. I don’t know if miles per hour have to do with domination.”

07.29.11

Rosenblatt : If Divers Do It Deeper, Gulati’s Done It Dumber

Posted in Football at 11:13 pm by

(Klinsmann, shown with his front-runner for new USMNT Fitness Guru, Emu, formerly of “Rod Hull & Emu” infamy)

With apologies to David Allan Coe for the above headline, Jurgen Klinsmann was named head coach of the US Men’s National Team earlier today, following the termination of Bob Bradley.  Klinsmann, pursued on prior occasions by USSF president Sunil Gulati, brings considerable star power to the job…and not much else in the estimation of SB Nation’s Ryan Rosenblatt, who calls the hiring, “all too predictable and disappointing

A close inspection of Klinsmann’s tenure as Germany manager chips away at some of Klinsmann’s shine. A match-by-match look at Germany’s 2006 World Cup doesn’t show anything overly impressive. They finished atop of a group comprised of Costa Rica, Poland and Ecuador. Impressive? He beat Sweden in the round of 16, hardly a win of epic proportions. Taking out Argentina in the quarterfinals was a nice win, but that was one of the more average Argentine teams in recent years and it took penalty kicks to get by them. When Germany was really tested was in the semifinals and that’s where their run came to an end as Italy disposed of them.

Klinsmann has had one other managerial job and he was a downright terrible. He took over a Bayern Munich team that won the Bundesliga the previous year and drove them down the table, saw them get knocked out in the cup quarterfinals and with the dressing room is pieces, was fired before the season ended. In his partial season Klinsmann’s tactical naivete was exposed, his scouting abilities were questioned and the club found itself several steps back from where they were when he took over.

Those who liked to question Bradley tactics, and there were instances that deserved plenty of questioning, conveniently forget that there were times where Bradley was tactically brilliant. He was the first manager to pressure high up the field against Argentina and make it difficult for Lionel Messi to get service instead of dropping deeper to double mark the Argentine wonder. He narrowed the field against Spain in the 2009 Confederations Cup semifinal and was still able to stretch them vertically with Charlie Davies up top. Bradley has shown to be much more tactically adept than Klinsmann so if tactics were an issue for Bradley, what will they be for the German?

In The Summer Of 1997, The Magic’s Dennis Scott Might Not Have Been Ready For His Close-Up

Posted in Basketball at 6:44 pm by

In which Former Orlando F Dennis Scott failed to win the award for Camp Counselor Of The Year (link via Ball Don’t Lie and Kelly Dwyer).

NYDN’s Gonzalez : Steinbrenner & Wilpon’s Monuments To Greed, Avarice Are Costing NYC

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York, The Marketplace, Ugly New Stadiums at 1:45 pm by

(Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, prior to the opening of Citi Field, basking in the knowledge that once this picture is in wide circulation, pitchers will never again wear warmup jackets on the basepaths for fear of being mistaken for him)

“If you want to know why more than 450 city park workers are about to be laid off or why the Parks Department has imposed outrageous fee increases,” writes the New York Daily News’ Juan Gonzalez, “just take a look at Citi Field and the new Yankee Stadium.”  He doesn’t mean the respective menus as The Shack Shack or NYY Steak, either, and is instead, calling foul on the Bloomberg administration’s sweetheart arrangements with both franchises.

Shea and the old Yankee Stadium – both of which sat on park land, and were owned by the city – were the Parks Department’s biggest revenue generators.

Under the old Yankee Stadium deal, the city was assured a percentage of gate receipts, a percentage of food sales, even a percentage of the team’s cable revenue.

Because of that, the old stadium produced as much as $15 million a year for Parks – even after deducting costs for stadium upkeep.

Likewise, the Shea Stadium deal generated as much as $9 million annually for the city.

As recently as 2008, the two ballparks represented nearly half of the $51 million in concessions revenue generated by the entire Parks system.

On top of that, the city was taking in an additional $6 million annually from parking fees at Shea and the old Yankee Stadium.

Once the new ballparks opened, all that revenue disappeared – even the parking money.

Today, the Mets keep all their parking revenue. Meanwhile, the Yankee Stadium garages, run by an independent firm, are nearly bankrupt and may never produce the $3 million annually they agreed to provide the city.