06.28.14

Holmes To Tigers’ Dickerson & Price : Get Off The Air

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 4:01 pm by

(if you’re thinking this post was just a cheap excuse to post the above song…you’re totally right)

Detroit Athletic Co.’s Dan Holmes compares the experience of listening to Tigers radio broadcasters Dan Dickerson and Jim Price to “someone invading a hole in my head and inflicting pain…it’s brutal.”   While crediting the former with “a very good voice”, Holmes considers the typical Detroit broadcast  to be “Dickerson telling you what he knows about baseball while he occasionally interjects the pitches and what happens on the field.” (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

Dickerson: There’s a grounder, the throw across and it pulls the first baseman. Martinez is out. No, now he’s being called safe. [LOOOONG PAUSE] That ball was hit to Beltre and he threw the ball high and wide and it was dropped by Pena. Martinez is safe on an error.

What was he watching? How does he not tell us WHERE the groundball was hit immediately, and what happened at first CORRECTLY the first time? It’s radio, you can pause a millisecond and wait to see what the umpire at first calls. Instead, Dickerson just uses his verbal shorthand and fails to call the play correctly the first time. He does this usually once every few games. He actually does.

If I could have a three wishes, I’d use two of them in the typical way (revenge against my enemies and all-encompassing wealth and power), but the third, the third wish, I’d use that to give Dan Dickerson the gift of description. He really has no idea how to describe something in an explicit way, which is really THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF HIS JOB. he’s like pone of those annoying friends who starts conversations in the middle of a story and expects us to understand what the hell he’s talking about.

There’s a drive and he dives and it’s caught out there deep on the warning track. what a play!

WHERE was that drive and WHO hit it? And WHO caught it WHERE? And HOW many guys were on base?!? And what’s the score?

[Driving off the road into a ditch]

06.27.14

Mushnick : Mex’s Macho Act Is Wearing Thin

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 1:04 pm by

Like most persons with ears, even when the on-field product sucks (which is the majority of the time), I find the repartee between Mets TV voices Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez to be reliably effervescent, even if Keith occasionally seems the more impatient of the three (or the least tolerant of female trainers in the dugout). During last Sunday’s SNY telecast of a matinee in Miami, Hernandez’ reaction to a photograph of Padres reliever Alex Torres — the first pitcher to don a bulky, newly designed cap with a protective liner — raised the ire of New York Post sports media critic Phil Mushnick, who likened the sneering to that of “a schoolyard bully”.

Yes, Torres looked odd. Yet, clearly, if he were determined to diminish the chances of a fractured skull or brain injury from a line drive to the side of his head, his head, if not his cap, was on straight.

Well, Hernandez took a macho, style-over-function stance, mocking Torres for looking “absurd.” (The same was heard when batting helmets arrived, then grew larger until they included earflaps and would be worn by base coaches.)

He wasn’t done. He suggested Torres and anyone who would wear such a thing is a coward: “If you’re scared, get a dog.”

Ugh! Either Hernandez was unaware of the dozens of annual, all-levels episodes that have pitchers rushed to hospitals — some with permanent neurological damage — or such episodes have not yet left an impression on him.

In Torres’ case, last year with the Rays, he replaced Alex Cobb after Cobb was nailed in the head with a line drive. After Saturday’s game, Torres recalled he still could hear the crack against Cobb’s head — and Torres was in the bullpen. “I’m glad he’s alive.”

06.26.14

Ghana’s Slight Distraction

Posted in Football, World Cup 2014 at 10:21 pm by

Despite losing to Germany earlier today on a 55th minute strike by Thomas Müller, the US Men’s National Team advanced to the 2014 World Cup knockout stages by virtue of a 2nd place finish in Group G that was sealed with Ghana’s 2-1 defeat to Portugal at Estádio Nacional. The latter result came on the heels of the Ghana Football Federation’s last second delivery of some $3 million dollars to the team, a payment that might not have happened nearly so fast had training not been boycotted two days earlier. From the Guardian’s Stuart James :

For coach James Appiah, the stand-off could not have happened at a worse time. “Every coach wouldn’t love to be in this situation where players are requesting monies, considering the fact you are playing a very important game,” he said. “For the past two days I’ve had sleepless nights, I can’t even close my eyes. These things are normally sorted out before the competition, you can’t keep telling the players the money will come. Unfortunately, I’ve found myself in that situation, trying to cope with it. The good thing is the president of the country will step in.”

Appiah would not disclose how much exactly the Ghana squad were demanding – “The players would kill me if I revealed it,” he said, laughing – but he defended their stance. “It’s not about being paid reward for anything, it’s got to do with an appearance fee, which I think every country pays its players, not just Ghana. It’s a right.”

Asked why the players could not have the money transferred electronically, Appiah said: “The practice in Ghana has always been to pay players in cash. Some players have not got accounts in Ghana. The system in Africa is totally different to Europe. You need to consider those factors. I’m not saying that it is the best way. But we are coming from different areas and you need to understand how it works.”

Guest Editorial : Austin Is A Wonderful Place And Luke Winkie (If That Is His Real Name) Could Not Be More Wrong

Posted in Austin, Free Expression, non-sporting journalism, Norman Wanklord, Tourism at 7:03 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : from time to time, Austin music blogger / fledgling independent label operator Norman Wanklord takes a break from his own unique brand of trenchant analysis and hard-hitting commentary to grace the pages of CSTB with, well, even more trenchant analysis and hard-hitting commentary. Upon Vice’s publication of “REASONS WHY AUSTIN IS THE WORST PLACE EVER” by noted urban planning expert Luke Winkie, Mr. Wanklord politely asked….well, actually, he begged for equal time – GC)

It’s hard for me to understand why some people who have the opportunity to bring the Austin community together, a chance to foster a greater understanding and sense of harmony, instead choose to hurt others with their elitist attitude and “I’m so fucking cool” bullshit. But enough about this blog — I hear the Pavement back catalog sales aren’t what they used to be, so perhaps it will disappear, soon.

(if Austin sucks so bad, why do artists this good looking keep moving here? Answer me that, Mr. Vice Column Person)

Instead, I’d like to turn my attention to local journalist Luke Winkie, who today took to the pages of my very favorite website (after this one) to blast the people of Austin, TX as a group of smug, insincere creeps with no greater purpose beyond novelty-drink guzzling and making fun of people who are trying to make something of themselves. Certainly, I can relate to some of Luke’s claims — no one knows better than me what it is like to sacrifice for the greater good only to be roundly ridiculed. But there’s a number of cruel, destructive arguments of his that I wish to refute. Or repudiate. Or refudiate.

“Nobody Has a Clue What His or Her Job Is”

I’m sorry, but that’s simply not true. When I’m not posting several dozen Soundcloud links a day, I’m teaching kids at one of Austin’s wonderful schools. If it weren’t for people like me, your future leaders would grow up with zero knowledge of the Declaration Of Independence, how many states there are in Canada and which was the best song on Belaire’s “Exploding Impacting”.

“Everyone Hates the Festivals That Pay Their Rent”

WHAAAT? Did Luke not read our comprehensive coverage of the Austin Psych Fest? Were my previews of cutting-edge talent playing SXSW some kind of secret that no one on the UT campus could access? What about the time Best Coast played Chaos In Tejas and I was the first to applaud that particular event finally booking a band I’d heard of? I LOVE FESTIVALS, and when I eventually organize my own, this entire beautiful city is invited. Except for Luke! But you won’t need an invitation because I’m not a fucking elitist!

“Barton Springs Is a Giant Toilet”

I’m sorry, but Luke’s copy-editor at Vice has let him down. I’m pretty sure that was supposed to read, “Beerland Is A Giant Toilet”.

“Emo’s Sucked”

“This awful little club had some of the best shows in the whole city, which means you were at risk of catching hepatitis every weekend.”

I guess even a smug San Diego-transplant looking to make a name for himself can’t be wrong all of the time. But why fixate on the negative, Luke? Emo’s closed years ago. Now we’ve got terrific, clean venues like Holy Mountain, Metal & Lace, the Swan Dive, etc., and like me, they’re totally committed to musical diversity and the highest standards in hygiene. In fact, we co-hosted a terrific show at Holy Mountain just last Friday that featured a number of well-groomed performers strumming guitars no harder than you’d handle a new born kitten. And unlike a new born kitten, the entire event was thoroughly germ free. No hepatitis, not even the slightest hint that sexual congress might’ve occurred anywhere in the entire world, let alone Austin.

But would Luke Winkie know the first thing about this? Of course not. He was too busy writing a hatchet job about the city that’s given him so many great opportunities.

Anyhow, I’d love to go on, but I’ve got a meeting with the parents of a kid who was caught spray-painting “fucktarded” on the side of my car (and that doesn’t even make sense, right?). The bad news is, he’s suspended from school. The good news is, he’s just been offered a column with Vice.

SEE, I CAN BE FUNNY TOO.

Thanks for your time, and keep on rockin’

06.25.14

Reports Of 10 More Years Of Raw Sewage Might Be Premature

Posted in Baseball at 11:59 pm by

While it was widely reported Wednesday that the A’s had signed a 10 year lease extension at the oft-ridiculed O.co Coliseum, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Carolyn Jones writes there’s not actually a done deal  :

Mayor Jean Quan said any celebration is premature, as the A’s – as recently as Tuesday night – gave the Authority a counter-offer that officials have not reviewed in depth.

“We are still negotiating, so were surprised by the announcement of an agreement,” she said. “We plan to meet (Thursday), continue negotiations, and hope there will be an agreement soon.”

Fans had mixed reactions on Wednesday. The A’s – who have the best record in baseball and won their division the past two years – deserve a permanent home, not an endless series of lease extensions, said Garth Kimball of Baseball Oakland, a fan group dedicated to keeping the A’s in Oakland.

“Lew Wolff has been trying to get them a permanent stadium since 2003. Here it is 2014 and we’re still talking about it,” he said. “I think people just want this resolved once and for all. We want the A’s to stay in Oakland, period.”

The Precise Moment When Matt Cain Decided He’d Had Just About Enough Of Tim Lincecum’s Mustache

Posted in Baseball at 10:35 pm by

Congrats to SF starter Tim Lincecum on his 2nd career no-hitter against the San Diego Padres.   Hopes are high he might someday accomplish a similar feat against a Major League lineup.

06.24.14

CSTB Greatest Hits : You’re Not The Boss Of Me – Scott Kazmir’s Blatant Disrepect For Springsteen, Leiter

Posted in Baseball at 10:38 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : Earlier tonight, the New York Mets chased their former prospect, LHP Scott Kazmir en route to a 10-1 victory over the AL West leading Oakland A’s. Kazmir, famously swapped for Victor Zambrano in one of the worst trades in Mets history, allegedly ran afoul of veteran teammates while preparing for the 2004 season in Port St. Lucie, most prominently, starting pitcher Al Leiter. Said incident is recalled in this post from July 9, 2006 – GC)

Tomorrow’s sports pages will be filled with accounts of Chien-Ming Wang’s tremendous performance against Tampa Bay. As though that were the most important storyline.

Though the Yankees’ 5-1 win helped the Bombers keep pace with Boston in the AL East, I’d rather focus on things far more crucial. The issue of respect. Feelings. Defering to a veteran. Knowing one’s place in the pecking order.

You might not agree with his politics, you might wish his final year in a Mets uniform saw him reach 100 pitches in less than 3 innings per start. But you’ve got to acknowledge that Al Leiter has always been a quality individual.

After everything Leiter has done for baseball, if not the city of New York, was it asking so much that he be allowed to play the music of Bruce Springsteen on the clubhouse boombox during Spring Training 2004? Is there something inherently wrong with Leiter misinterpreting the Boss’ populist themes for some kind of ultra-patriotic anthems? If there were, you’d have to lock up much of the Tri-State Area.

So how was Leiter supposed to react, when that young punk Scott Kazmir arrogantly strode into the Port St. Lucie clubhouse and snapped Leiter’s ‘Born In The U.S.A.’ CD into pieces, and then replaced it in the player with Solger’s “Raping Dead Nuns”?

I know how I’d have reacted. I’d have used every bit of influence I’d build up through years of golfing and glad-handing to have that little creep shipped off to the baseball equivalent of Siberia at the earliest possible opportunity.

Al, if you’re reading this, not all Mets fans hold a grudge. Kazmir lost tonight, a game he might’ve won with any sort of top-flight team with a ten-figure payroll playing behind him. Sure, he’s going to the All-Star Game on Tuesday, and soon, he’ll be making enough money to have the members of Solger reunite at his 23rd birthday party. But for tonight, he’s a loser.