01.29.13

Ray Lewis’ Curious Approach To Dodging Questions

Posted in Gridiron at 6:36 pm by

What could be a fairytale ending to Ravens LB Ray Lewis  career took an uncomfortable detour Tuesday, with accusations Lewis’ 2012 rehab was assisted by the purchase of substances banned by the NFL.  Said story broke just in time for Super Bowl XLVII Media Day, meaning there was an entirely new subject for Lewis to avoid  (on top of, y’know, the other one)

“I’m going to say it again, that was a two-year old story that you want me to refresh. I wouldn’t give him the credit to even mention his name or his antics in my speeches or my moment,” said Lewis, who will retire following Sunday’s title game against the San Francisco 49ers. “I can’t do it so I won’t even speak about it. I’ve been in this business for 17 years and nobody has ever gotten up with me every morning and trained with me. Every test, I’ve ever took in the NFL, there’s never been a question if I ever even thought about using anything. To even entertain stupidity like that, tell him to try and get his story out with somebody else.”

“Him” is Mitch Ross, a co-owner of Sports with Alternatives to Steroids (SWATS). Ross told Sports Illustrated that upon Lewis’ request, he provided the 37-year-old linebacker with products aimed at speeding up his recover from the torn triceps, an injury that occurred Oct. 14. Lewis came back in time for the Jan.6 playoff opener against the Indianapolis Colts and his return is being cited as one of the factors behind the Ravens’ Super Bowl run.

Lewis’ alleged involvement with Ross first surfaced in 2011 when ThePostGame.com reported that Jackson, the former Ravens quarterback coach and a current offensive assistant for the Cincinnati Bengals, was told by the NFL to sever ties with SWATS. Jackson reportedly introduced several Ravens to the company’s products, including Lewis.

“Two years ago, that was the same report,” Lewis said. “I wouldn’t give that report or him any of my press. He’s not worthy of that.”

Lewis would have you believe that not only is his “moment” being stolen, but reporters asking legit questions about his involvement with Ross are co-conspirators in generating publicity for SWATS.   If you believe that, I’ve got a bloodstained white suit I’d like to sell you. That is, if  anyone could find it.

A Fond Farewell To Nick Johnson

Posted in Baseball, The World Of Entertainment at 6:13 pm by

Nick Johnson pulled the plug on a decade-long, injury-filled major league career yesterday,  an bittersweet occasion that is somewhat mitigated by the former Yankeee/Nationals 1B at least having an acting career to fall back on.

Johnson’s work under the psuedonym, “Jon Polito” while certainly revered by fans of television’s “Homicide”, is best exemplified by his star turn in the Coen Brothers’ “Miller’s Crossing”.  And I’ll bet you’re wishing I’d posted a clip from that movie, instead.

01.28.13

A (Revisionist) History Of Deadspin : High Minded Leitch Was “Never About The Traffic”

Posted in Blogged Down, Sports Journalism, Will Leitch Sucks at 11:13 pm by

Deadspin celebrates its 8th anniversary later this year, an occasion that caused Adweek’s Charlie Warzel to collect memories from the site’s editors and publisher about their major journalistic achievements in the pre-Manti T’eo era.   Said high water marks are specified as a jpg of a drunk Kyle Orton, a jpg of a drunk Josh Hamilton and a jpg of Brett Favre’s cock —- apparently causing multiple Sean Salisbury meltdowns didn’t meet Warzel’s standards!  Anyhow, if you’re amongst those who thought Deadspin founder Will Leitch (above, left) milked the site’s bro-tarded comments section for all it was worth, THINK AGAIN.  He’s not that kind of guy.

Leitch: I didn’t want comments at all. This was my little play land. I was having too much fun and comments added a new element. I didn’t know or even care if people were reading Deadspin at the time. I was just enjoying sitting in my little room. I had stopped looking at traffic. I said, “Just tell me at the end of each month if I don’t get my traffic goals. Just give me one warning and if I screw up again you can fire me.” I’m still like that now and I just don’t want to know the numbers. Chasing the traffic demon is the end of it all. I think it’s made everything [online] stupid.

Drew Magary: He’d seen how bad comments were on other sites. Most commenters on Yahoo and ESPN are morons writing things that are breathtakingly stupid. He probably thought, “Okay, I’ll write something smart, then commenters will call the President Hitler and this will suck.”

There was one point early on where Will would pull out comments of mine and stick them in a post and when he did that I’d be like, “Oh my God! Leitch posted the comment! I don’t feel so alone anymore! I’m so happy!” Five of us commenters eventually started a site called Kissing Suzy Kolber and Will championed our cause early. Every time he’d email me I’d get excited and think, “Wow a big media person likes our stuff.”

Leitch: I got over the comments issue quick because Deadspin commenters ended up being so awesome. It ended up that I worked the top part of the site and they worked the bottom. I never really read comments then, though I didn’t have any problems with them. After a while, I realized “Oh, its actually really funny!” By the time it had become a community though I was too busy writing posts. The Deadspin community formed entirely outside of my doing. I didn’t foster it. Not that I didn’t want it, but I just had no time to do it.

It’s entirely appropriate that KSK’s Margery is a character witness ; after all, it was long established that links at Deadspin during Leitch’s era were largely reduced to a small circle (jerk) of acolytes. But compare and contrast Leitch’s claim, “the Deadspin community formed entirely outside” with a September 2006 statement from the humble editor promising a “rather stingy” approvals process.  How do you know when the Man From Mattoon isn’t totally full of shit?  I was gonna write, “his lips aren’t moving”, but that doesn’t cover typing.

Boston Magazine On A-Gone’s Text, Passan’s Scoop And Some Harsh Words For Peter Abraham

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 5:03 pm by

Calling Boston’s cabal of mainstream sports journalists/pundits, “whiny, petulant, entitled and self-important”, Boston Magazine’s Alan Siegal is rather adamant that national reporters have proven more adept at breaking big stories, possibly because they don’t have to worry about taking heat from their subjects on a daily basis. Returning to the matter of Jeff Passan’s August 14 piece for Yahoo Sports in which Adrian Gonzalez was said to be lobbying for Bobby Valentine’s dismissal, Siegal declares, “it was clearly a massive story — unless you happened to be a sportswriter from Boston.”  And that’s where the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham comes in.

Though he would later produce an article about the poor relationship between Valentine and some of his coaches, Peter Abraham remains mystified as to why Passan’s story got so much attention. In journalism, it’s worth noting, there’s nothing more embarrassing than having a reporter from the outside come in and break news on your turf. “There was this perception that, well, somehow the Boston media got beat on this story,” Abraham told me. “I didn’t know what there was that we got beat on. I guess the fact that [the players and ownership] had a meeting.”

Actually, yes, exactly that.

Abraham continued: “Bobby, if anything, at the time, had his position strengthened. He didn’t get fired. They fired [the pitching coach]. And the team played better for a short time after that meeting. So when this thing came out, at least for me personally, I didn’t really know what the story was—‘Well, the Red Sox were upset three weeks ago.’”

Again, the players tried to get the manager axed. That was the story. But Abraham went on: “Had Bobby been fired, and that was the reason, it would’ve been a better story. There were really no consequences to the meeting. Nothing happened. I wasn’t really sure where to go with it.”

Abraham’s implication that the meeting was unimportant because nobody got fired is more than a bit strange, especially considering that pitching coach Bob McClure, rumored to be the source for Passan’s story, was canned less than a week after the article ran. More broadly, though, there is something seriously amiss if the Globe’s Red Sox beat writer, the holder of one of the most sought-after jobs in all of American sports journalism, doesn’t know where to go with a story like this.

01.27.13

Memorabilia Dealer Conscientiously Objects To Carlos Delgado

Posted in Baseball at 6:31 pm by

Under what possible circumstances would former Mets 1B Carlos Delgado find himself the subject of a prominent NY tabloid story in 2013?  Perhaps a full-fledged apology from writers or radio hosts who dogged him throughout his Flushing tenure?  Or maybe a testimonial to Delgado’s acts of charity or political conscience? No, instead we have a story about a memorabilia dealer upset that Delgado signed bats with A-Rod’s name on them and had the temerity to, y’know, get old.  From the Daily News’ Michael O’Keefe :

Sports memorabilia dealer Spencer Lader and other defendants in the case want Jose Reyes, now with the Blue Jays, to tell them under oath what he knows about Delgado’s relationship with Anthony Galea, the controversial Toronto sports medicine doctor — and human growth hormone proponent — who pleaded guilty in July 2011 to transporting misbranded and unapproved drugs into the United States.

“I’m not saying Delgado used steroids, but I do have a right to know if he did,” Lader says. “We thought his name had commercial value, but everybody knows players linked to steroids have no commercial value.  We thought he would be a 500 home run player but his body broke down,” Lader says. “If he used performance-enhancing drugs it was a misrepresentation and we have a right to know.”

“I want to be the first person in memorabilia to keep these people accountable,” adds Lader, whose Authentic Memorabilia made headlines in 2007 when it marketed Darryl Strawberry- and Jason Giambi-autographed baseballs that said “Everybody deserves a second chance.”

Delgado signed an agreement with Lader in 2006 that made Lader his exclusive autographed memorabilia dealer. Lader says he later brought in other partners, including Nitin Doshi, the wealthy owner of a Long Island medical imaging company. The deal had soured by 2009 when the ex-Met filed suit in Nassau County Supreme Court, claiming that Lader, Doshi and the other defendants stiffed him out of at least $767,500. The defendants dispute Delgado’s claims; Lader says he should not even be a party to the suit because Doshi bought out his interest in the deal.

01.26.13

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN : CSTB’S PRO BOWL CHILI

Posted in Food, Gridiron at 7:52 pm by

(Giants QB Eli Manning, diligently prepares for Sunday’s game, undaunted by the disappointment of having been chosen to participate)

(EDITOR’S NOTE : the following was first posted on February 8, 2004. Since our archives from year one are on the fritz — and have been for way too fucking long — you’ll just have to take my word for it. No one in their right mind would boast of republishing this recipe on an annual basis for 9 years if it weren’t true – GC).

Excuse me for having to spell this one out for our European readers. Pro Bowl Sunday is a BIG event for Americans. All over the country, families come together for Pro Bowl Parties. Advertisers pay hundreds of dollars to televise commercials featuring their newest products. Each year on Pro Bowl Sunday, battered womens’ shelters report the number of victims admitted to their care decreases by two percent, testament to the calming nature of the contest . If the NBA All-Star Game is, in the words of Michael Wilbon, Black Thanksgiving, then the Pro Bowl is sort of like Yom Kippur for Gambling Degenerates & Football Obsessives of All Races.

In this household, the Pro Bowl’s importance is matched only by that of the NHL Skills Competition (skate-sharpening, carrying Eric Lindros off the ice) and the entire NASCAR calendar. And with that in mind, here is CSTB’s Award Winning Pro Bowl Chili Recipe :

Ingredients :
750 g of Sainsbury Lean Minced Beef

1 jar of Uncle Ben’s Hot Chili
simmer the minced beef in a wok or non-combustible container until brown.

drain the fat in a colander.

remove half the beef and serve to CSTB’s Proofreader (allow some 20 minutes for cooling or you’ll be very very sorry)

put the other half of the beef back in the wok, add the contents of the Uncle Ben’s jar.

go watch NFL Countdown for 30 minutes

serve over a bed of white rice (if you don’t have any white rice, you can always try to cut the taste by swallowing without chewing)

Serves 1 – possibly two if you can get anyone to come over to your house for the Pro Bowl.

Notorious Wife-Swapper Reveals Maury Allen’s Houseparty Set The Swinging Tone

Posted in Baseball, History's Great Hook-Ups at 7:36 pm by

Ok, the might be the most misleading headline I’ve ever written (and that’s saying something), though I could’ve opted for “No One Ever Mistook The Fort Lee, NJ Steak & Ale For Plato’s Retreat”.  In the end, the combination of “Maury Allen” and “swinging” was far too much for me to resist — if only I still had advertisers!  .  The Palm Beach Post’s Joe Capozzi, mindful of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s plans to make a film about Yankee pitchers Fritz Peterson (above) and Mike Kekich trading wives in 1973, gathered some dusty details from Peterson during a Ft. Lauderdale chat (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

“We were invited to a party at Maury Allen’s house on a Saturday night, July the 15th, 1972,” Peterson said. “During the party, we all had a couple of beers and were having a great time. When we were deciding to leave, we had driven two different cars and happened to park behind each other out in the street. I said to my wife, Marilyn, ‘Why don’t you ride with Mike to the diner in Fort Lee, N.J., and I’ll take Susanne with me and we’ll meet there and then we’ll go home from there.

“We did that and we had so much fun together, Susanne and I and Mike and Marilyn, that we decided, ‘Hey, this is fun, let’s do it again.’ We did it the next night. We went out to the Steak and Ale in Fort Lee. Mike and Marilyn left early and Susanne and I stayed and had a few drinks and ate.

“It was just really fun being able to talk to somebody. All of us felt the same way. We went on from there and eventually he fell in love with my wife and I fell in love with his.’’

Peterson said he didn’t think it would be that big of a story. But the day after the announcement, “I saw my picture on TV when I woke up,” he said. “And I said, ‘Uh-oh, it’s a big one.’ ’’