Goes great with a refreshing glass of Ovaltine

>> Wednesday

Linked from a semi-related article in Time is a gallery of pro-smoking propaganda ads from the Mad Men era. I'd seen most of them before, but this one was new to me:

Mickey Mantle clearly had no values. Changing loyalties like that... it's just wrong.


Over here, we call it a "lift"

>> Tuesday

Isn't this basically the same as a Chicagoan tourist overseas hearing "Ya ya, Chicago... Mi-khel Zhor-dan, ja no ees good, si?" everywhere they go or like when I met a Scottish girl at Pitchfork last week and started talking Proclaimers within about two minutes of introducing myself? I guess when you're a certified true-hoopin' juke-jivin' president of the ballin'-est country in the world, it's a slick diplomatic stroke of genius and not a pathetic attempt at ingratiation or precursor to an attempted camera theft.

I'm just curious, though--For all the wonderful things Obama said about Ghana when he visited a few weeks back, why no love for Pops Mensah-Bonsu?


Your daddy's swim trunks

>> Monday

Meanwhile, time and science proceed indifferently in their usual forward direction.


More Uninteresting RSS Headline Typos

Another intern asleep at the switch:

I shall henceforth formally refer to him as the Commissioner Allan H. "Bud 'Bug'" Selig.


DeWayne Wise is a walking cliche

Just flipped to AMC, which is showing For the Love of the Game. Those familiar with the movie may remember that the Tigers' center fielder robs a home run to record the 23rd out of Billy Chapel's perfect game. Seems awfully familiar.

Ok, so Wise's catch was in the ninth and not the eighth, and he caught it in left-center, not straightaway center. Nevertheless, it's shocking that Universal hasn't sued Wise for copyright infringement. (Oh, that's right--they've already dispatched every available lawyer to bleed money out of online video distributors and file sharers.)

Anyway, I couldn't find a video with the robbed homer clip, though I did find this, which you may have seen before but is far more entertaining:

UPDATE: The guy who makes the final out for the Yankees would have to be slower than Paul Konerko carrying fat Kevin Mitchell on his back to get thrown out on that play. It's a high chopper off the bat; the ball deflects of Chapel's glove and bounds toward second base long enough to show several slow-mo seconds of agonized Costner-face; the shortstop then has to dive to field the ball--on the far side of second base, no less--before coming to his feet and throwing to first. And the throw still beats the runner by a full stride. Ridiculous.

Also, having never seen the movie before, it's obvious that For the Love of the Game was just a high-budget platform for Kevin Costner to indulge in his fantasies to be a major leaguer and play in Yankee stadium (with a younger woman as a love interest to boot). How pathetic. / I'm jealous.


A Hall of Fame Wish

>> Sunday

Very shortly, Rickey Henderson will give his Hall of Fame speech. Rickey, of course, played many years with Jose Canseco on the Oakland A's. Without turning this into a Raul Ibanez thing, let's just acknowledge there's a probability greater than zero and less than one that he took steroids.

So here's my wish for his speech: Rickey gets announced, walks up to the podium, basks in the applause for a few minutes, coaxes a little more to draw it out, adjusts the mic, flashes a huge grin, and says, "Hey, guess what? I took steroids. You voted me in. Nothing you can do about it now. Suckers!"

Of course, this all rests on the premise that he actually took steroids and would be willing to throw away lots and lots of future monies. That said, he's one of the few people in the history of baseball who'd be crazy enough to pull it off.



>> Friday

This graphic (lifted from a friend's Facebook post without permission) appeared on ESPN last night. What it tells us is... something:

All priceless information (especially the bottom scroll). Beamed through your cornea in crystal-clear HD.


For real?

>> Thursday

I mean, seriously:

Perfect games are cool and all, but I'm not sure I could justify one being lead story for the world's biggest news organization. Don't they know that Michael Jackson died???


Comment on real website = Post here

Over at Craig "Shyster" Calcattera's NBC Sports blog, I had an Andy Rooney moment after reading a post he made regarding a failed attempt at a start-up baseball league in 1959. The comment being more substantive than anything I've posted here in a while, I thought I should re-post it here.

Call me crazy, but I could see the idea of a rival league gaining momentum in the not-too-distant future as the live game experience continues down the path toward stimulatory overload. Assuming that chairback touchscreen monitors and the like will become MLB-wide status quo within a few decades (and assuming that most farm and indy-league teams will piggyback), I expect an underserved market of fans to emerge whose ideal live baseball experience is still an escape from their plugged-in, clamorous world--not the extension of it that MLB have become. It seems the market is already palpable, and it's not just made up of people over fifty.

I'm 25. I love the internet. I love loud music. I love things that flash lights and make noise when I touch them. However, I do not desire these things when I'm watching live baseball. Some things go together well. Others do not. Modern MLB games are like fine merlot with Skittles and a side of fireworks. I long to be one of those fans in the grainy newsreel footage, and I worry for the fate of the endangered organist.
I think this crackpot theory of mine was cemented Friday night when I went to the Sox game with Zuch and a few other friends. Granted, it was a cold night game, and we sat in the club section (ahem, the LG Skyline Club section, as Hawk Harrelson so dutifully refers to it each time a foul ball lands there), which can distort the perceptions a bit. But even still, that familiar good vibe I always get at baseball games was hard to find. Too many colors, too much motion, too much "(I Don't Wanna Lose) Your Love."

Of course, it's not just the Cell. I'm fairly certain the P.A. at Wrigley is several decibels louder than it was, say, six or seven years ago. And for what? A more intense atmosphere? Regular-season baseball is as much about intensity as government work. Trying to fabricate intensity with intro music is futile and obnoxious.

Whether it spawns interest in a new league or not, I do think the tension between escapism and sobriety is poised to build in the next few decades. Ideally, it wouldn't be an all A versus all B choice; rather, both A and B would be a ticket away.

Us romantics have grudgingly tolerated the MLB on FOX for fifteen years, but if we can no longer enjoy the live experience, it may be time to split the congregation and start a new church.


Compensation for...?

>> Wednesday

Two words, Eddie: Speaking. Gigs.

"While the NCAA, its member conferences and schools, and its for-profit business partners reap millions of dollars from revenue streams ..., former student athletes whose likenesses are utilized to generate those profit centers receive no compensation whatsoever," the suit claims.
I'm not saying that NCAA athletes shouldn't be compensated, but I think that ship sailed on O'Bannon--ohhh--fourteen years ago.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and calls on the NCAA to pay the former athletes what it has allegedly made from the use of their images.
What you call damages, some call free publicity. The NCAA is still using your image to make you look like a hero a decade and a half after your playing career. CAPITALIZE.


Welcome Back

>> Monday


Weau is me

>> Wednesday

(Oh, right, we have a blog...)

Prior to Tuesday night's game, Grammy Award-winning singer Sheryl Crow performed the Star Spangled Banner at Busch Stadium.

But she didn't sing O Canada -- and neither did anybody else. Instead, an instrumental version of Canada's national anthem was piped through stadium speakers.

After the game, the 28-year-old Morneau told reporters that Major League Baseball could have handled the situation better.

"I wasn't very impressed with that to tell you the truth," he said Tuesday night. "You figure they could find somebody to come and sing the song. They have a hockey team here, the Canadian teams play here.

"It's something that didn't really go over too well. I think if it happened the other way around, if they were playing in Toronto and they did that, it would have been a lot bigger deal. But nothing you can do about it."

Oddly, the Dominican-born players--who outnumber Morneau's countrymen almost seven-to-one league-wide but didn't hear their anthem played via boombox, MIDI, kazoo or any other audible medium--had no complaints.


Totally misleading headline department

>> Monday

Even if it said "starter" that wouldn't be accurate. Either way, I want Brian Cook's pubilcist working for me. I could be "acclaimed writer."


Correlation may be causation: Is Zach Randolph the worst NBA player of all time?

>> Thursday

Now, for the next installment in my continuing series of commentaries on trades between bad franchises no one cares about, news today is that Zach Randolph has been traded by the L.A. Clippers to the Memphis Grizzlies.

How very appropriate.

As many of you may already know, I have an intense, borderline-pathological dislike for ol' Snack-Attack Zach that's particularly inexplicable considering he's never done anything in his career to hurt my hometown Bulls. Really, my only genuine beef with the guy is the utter stylelessness of his game, which helps preserve the legacy of unwatchable post-Jordan II iso-postup tuhrri-ball.

That said, I can't help but laugh over the fact that he has once again been shipped off to an arguably worse team than the already bad one he's left.

Blazers-->Knicks-->Clippers-->Grizzlies. Throughout his career, Randolph starting for your team has proven a pretty good indicator that your team's fortunes are not so good and are probably going to stay that way.

Randolph did come off the bench for playoff teams in Portland his first two years--the second of which saw him play significantly playoff minutes. Since becoming a full-time starter in his third year, however, Randolph has played for a 50-game loser every year but one--that being his first season starting with Portland, 2003-2004, which saw the Blazers finish 41-41.

Granted, Randolph hasn't been surrounded with the best of talent in that time, but I can't help but feel he's a big part of the problem. Cherrypicking a single advanced metric to prove my point, Randolph finished the year with only 3.1 win shares--good for only third on a 19-win Clippers team. The year before last, he compiled only 2.9, which put him fourth on a 23-win Knicks team. To put it another way, he was only about as valuable to the Clippers as YCS favorite (but subpar NBA player) Steve Novak and less valuable to the Knicks than Nate Robinson.

Of course, things are unlikely to improve for the Grizzlies, which could mean Randolph will have a few more 50-loss seasons on his record by the time he leaves Memphis (if the Grizzlies don't leave there first). That leads me to wonder: Who has the alltime worst winning percentage as a starter in NBA history? Is such a stat kept? If so, I would imagine big Zach is in the running.


So disappointing

>> Wednesday

The Pirates make a trade. The trade upsets the players. The players lash out at management. 79 articles are written about the trade. And not a single one has "mutiny" in the headline. How does this happen???

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