Those who have the misfortune of following the Twitter feed of former Chicago Sun-Times / AOL Sports columnist Jay Mariotti are already well aware the longtime “Around The Horn” fixture can rarely resist the opportunity to remind his followers that a) crazy ladies like to set guys up for a fall, b) the LAPD treat honest fellas (who never hit women) like crap and c) LIFE’S FUCKING AWESOME LIVING NEAR THE BEACH. The Sherman Report’s Ed Sherman interviewed Mariotti recently, who seems rather fixated on the above themes, along with remaining wildly optimistic about his future employment prospects (“I’m mulling over three possibilities — all terrific jobs. If they happen, great. If not, Mumford & Sons are coming to the Hollywood Bowl next week.”)
How have/will your legal issues impact your ability to get hired? For lack of a better word, are you “tainted”?
Ever see “Fatal Attraction,” the movie? I often felt like Michael Douglas. But that doesn’t matter in post-O.J. Simpson L.A., where even a battered man doesn’t stand a chance when a couple is arguing on a street and a third-party witness calls 911. Prosecutors saw an opportunity for a quick series of headlines in the L.A. Times. They never wanted to hear my side of the story; they just funneled me through a preliminary hearing and left it up to me to take it to a trial, not caring about the invaluable witnesses we brought to the courtroom and my $250,000 in legal expenses, plenty of which made its way to a financially ailing city via outrageous court costs. I could have taken the case to trial, but what a circus that would have been. How do I know a jury wouldn’t profile me unfairly, as an opinionated ESPN commentator of Italian heritage, and assume guilt regardless of the truth? I chose to take a no-contest plea bargain for one low-level misdemeanor, which allowed this person to stalk me in attempts to entrap me and cause me more trouble.
I don’t hit women – never have, never will. As the father of two daughters, I abhor domestic abuse. In truth, I was the one abused in the relationship; one night, she punched me 22 times in the chest, right against the stent inserted during my 2007 heart attack. I’ve discussed all of this on two Fox Sports podcasts and in a Sirius/XM interview. I’ve written a book about it. Now it’s time for everyone to move on and realize that men, too, can be victims of domestic abuse.
While much of Murray Chass’ latest blog entry concerns the Miguel Cabrera vs. Mike Trout MVP competition (no surprise that Murray considers Wins Above Replacement an insufficient determining factor), the former New York Times baseball columnist (above) notes that MLB.com considered a Bud Selig V.A. hospital visit, a Taco Bell promotion and a similar plug for the “Ducks On The Pond” trivia game all newsworthy enough to warrant front page coverage. Conversely, the recent DUI arrests of Mark Grace and Carlton Fisk received no mention from Major League Baseball’s house organ. Noting the Selig piece along with the Taco Bell and “Ducks On The Pond” stories were all penned by Mark Newman, Chass sneers, “he is designated as enterprise editor. House man would be more appropriate.”
The articles about Fisk and Grace can be found on many Web sites andin many newspapers (though strangely not The New York Times), but baseball’s Web site, the one that says its articles and columns are “ not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs,” opted not to post either the Grace or Fisk developments.
Baseball apparently doesn’t recognize negative news about its people. It’s like a child thinking if he or she closes his or her eyes, bad things or bad news will go away.
No story, on the other hand, can be too bad to post on the site if it highlights a positive aspect of Major League Baseball or a baseball promotion.
If the above headline has you hoping the Mets might attempt to reacquire pending free agent OF Angel Pagen, think again. As the New York Post’s Joel Sherman points us, Pagan’s exceptional 2012 and subsequent postseason exploits, “might have priced him out of San Francisco”, meaning the Amazingly Destitutes are more likely to consider a more economical option. Say, disgraced Giants OF Melky Cabrera, who one of Sherman’s unnamed sources characterizes thusly ; “a pretty good player with the Yankees, fat and terrible for Atlanta, very good last year [for Kansas City] and unbelievable this year. Who is the real guy?…Real Melky was a fourth outfielder, fake Melky was the All-Star MVP. Maybe we are going to have to find if there is more nuance to that.”
The Mets were one club that came up regularly as a potential landing spot for Cabrera, as were the outfield-needy Phillies. The Mets need outfielders and don’t have a ton of money to address their severe needs there. So if they could bag Cabrera as corner outfield insurance against Jason Bay and Lucas Duda, it could make sense, especially if they are unable to retain Scott Hairston. Probably at his worst, Cabrera would be a motivated fourth outfielder who always could hit righties well, with the possibility he is more than that if any of the improvements of the past two years are real.
As you’re probably well aware, Oklahoma City has already made long term commitments to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. They’re on the hook for $52 million in future payments to Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins. As such, signing reigning NBA Sixth Man Of The Year James Harden to a $60 million extension would’ve put the Thunder in luxury tax distress, a situation they’ll now avoid with tonight’s announcement Harden has been sent to the Rockets, along with C Cole Aldrich, guards Daquean Cook and Lazar Hayward to the Houston Rockets. Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb will join the Thunder, with Oklahoma City receiving two first round picks (Toronto and Dallas’ protected 2013 picks, respectively) and a 2013 second round pick originally belonging to Charlotte. The Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry provides further details :
The deal comes on the heels of negligible progress being made on a contract extension for Harden following nearly four months of negotiating. As a result, the Thunder parted ways with the fan favorite after stagnant talks made it clear Harden would be too much of a financial burden to keep.
If no deal was reached on an extension by Wednesday’s midnight Eastern deadline, Harden would have become a restricted free agent next summer. Houston is believed to now be ready to ink Harden to the maximum-allowable contract that Harden has long been believed to covet.
A report by Yahoo! Sports on Saturday said Harden recently turned down a four-year extension worth roughly $52 million. The report also was the latest to say Harden is pushing for a max deal, expected to be roughly $60 million over four years.