05.31.15

If Falling For Onion Headlines Is A Crime, Jack Warner WIll Do The Time

Posted in Football at 3:21 pm by

In the future, perhaps former FIFA vice president / accused fraudster Jack Warner might want to run future videos past trusted family & friends before posting anything publicly.

05.30.15

FIFA World Cup 2022 : They’re Not Making Omlettes & Those Human Lives Aren’t Broken Eggs

Posted in Football, The Marketplace at 2:57 pm by

Image via The Football Ramble and Chris Bond.  Are you comfortable with this collateral damage?

05.29.15

HUG(GULA)S NOT DRUG(GULA)S

Posted in Baseball at 8:38 pm by

After a slow start, the Washington Nationals have overtaken the New York Mets in the NL East and you might be excused if you’d thought the key to their ascent was the ridiculous offensive production of OF Bryce Harper. Actually, as the Washington Post’s James Wagner (sort of) explains, the crucial component in Washington’s rise has been IF Dan Uggla (above), he of the Mendoza Line batting average and zeal for touching & caressing his teammates :

“He’s just a big bicep teddy bear,” reliever Aaron Barrett said. After a grin and laugh, Barrett continued: “The hugs are fantastic. I love it. It’s very comforting.”

If you look closely in or near the dugout, there’s a common routine that unfolds after a Nationals home run: Uggla finds the player and gives a big hug. After Danny Espinosa smashed his sixth home run of the season Wednesday in Chicago, Uggla — the man whom Espinosa replaced in the eighth inning — gave Espinosa a big embrace in the cramped Wrigley Field dugout.

“Some guys grew up huggers; some grew up with handshakes,” Uggla said recently. “We hugged in my family. That’s who I am. It’s always funny to me when I hug someone, and I can tell right away that they didn’t grow up hugging in their family. Nothing wrong with it. It’s not an awkward hug. I get on them about it, too. Nothing weird going on. Just hugging another grown man.”

05.28.15

Ronay On Blatter Under Siege

Posted in Football at 9:31 pm by

FIFA’s 2015 Congress opened Thursday amidst Swiss and U.S. authorities making up for eons of lost time by maybe-finally-probably exposing soccer’s governing body for the corrupt, corpulent money-printing enterprise everyone knows it to be anyway. While Jack Warner blames a Zionist conspiracy, the Guardian’s Barney Ronay considers The State Of Sepp Blatter, with the latter left to weather “a rare storm in the 17-year history an extraordinarily bold, extraordinarily successful, cult of presidential personality” (“there is, unexpectedly, an actual election to be fought, possibly even an unexpected moment of crisis”).

It is hard, even after all these years, to get a handle on Blatter. There is a theory that, while he may be the dictatorial leader of a furiously corrupt sporting fiefdom, he is himself not that way inclined. Blatter isn’t in it for the money (of which he has vast amounts nonetheless). He’s in it for the kicks, the power, the oddly sensual cultish devotion. Hence his ability to stay clean by proxy, the lack of trail to his door. The FBI case will test this to the full. But here anyway, Blatter did manage to appear disappointed, humbled, saddened by the revelation – who knew! – of apparently vast corruption within the organisation he has moulded to his own image over the last 30 years.

“Dear friends … the events of yesterday … a long shadow over football,” Blatter went on, stressing several times that it was a “tiny minority” on the take. And this is certainly an interesting point of view. Not least when you consider the top table at last year’s Fifa congress, from which two of his own lieutenants were absent from the Hallenstadion, in police custody while Julio “Don Julio” Grondona, the most intimately connected with the dirty TV and marketing deals and a right-hand man in the Argentinian military junta of the late 1970s, has since died.

If this really is a minority, it’s hiding within plain sight of the president. What happens now will be fascinating. The suspicion that Blatter has this in hand, that a little purge now and then is no bad thing, has receded. This is a proper fight. Although quite what football might end up with remains to be seen.

05.27.15

From 1964 : ABC’s Scheme To Make Televised Baseball Oh-So-Precious

Posted in Baseball, History's Not Happening, Sports TV at 11:41 pm by

The above clipping is from the Rockford Register-Republic, circa April 1964, and was republished earlier today by SABR’s Chuck Hildenbrant (link culled from Baseball Think Factory), who adds this was not the only suggestion the American Broadcasting Company had up their sleeve :


Undaunted, ABC did not stop there with the out-of-the-box ideas. They believed other sports could benefit from dramatic changes, too, such as professional golfers competing with each other on a season-long points system administered by the PGA; the USOC holding regional Olympic competitions to better prepare the nation for the actual quadrennial event; and college football doing away with the bowl system and replacing it with a March Madness-style playoff instead. As you can see, not all their ideas were total clunkers.

If You’re Creeped Out By This Video, Imagine How The New York Liberty Players Must Feel

Posted in Basketball, Sports TV at 11:20 pm by

In which NBA TV analyst turned New York Liberty team president Isiah Thomas all but invites the Larry O’Brien Trophy back to his crib to watch “Love & Basketball” on blu-ray.

05.26.15

Rick Morrissey Humbly Suggests The Bears Didn’t Do Their Homework On Ray McDonald

Posted in "Wife Beater" Is Not A Fashion Statement, Gridiron, The Law at 11:09 pm by

DE Ray McDonald’s most recent brush with the law resulted in the recently acquired free agent being cut loose by Chicago, the second time in 5 months McDonald’s off-field behavior has been deemed unacceptable by an employer. How the Bears in general and chairman George McCaskey in particular managed to bring McDonald into the fold is hard for the Sun-Times’ Rick Morrissey to comprehend, saying of McCaskey, “with judgement like this, (he) doesn’t need a death wish.”

Sunday’s arrest has exposed the chairman either as a disingenuous owner who talks about character and knowingly goes the other way, or as someone who is as naïve as a puppy.

Asked at the time of the signing if he had tried to get the accuser’s version of events in the sexual-assault case, McCaskey did not endear himself to women.

“An alleged victim, I think — much like anybody else who has a bias in this situation — there’s a certain amount of discounting in what they have to say,’’ he said. “But our personnel department had done its work looking into the background and the incidents. And we had the benefit of two coaches who had been with him with the 49ers.’’

One of those coaches was new Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. What do you expect from a football coach? The chairman of a billion-dollar business should know better