Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I won't venture to guess if 'Giuseppe' Jennings is the Truth or just a bowl of pasta primavera, but I'll join him in a hearty "Fuck the Knicks."
Donnie Walsh's naked plan from day one has been to move money to make room for LeBrawndo (it's what chumps crave). Plan B is Dwayne Wade. Plan C is Chris Bosh. Plan D is a carton of Kools, a beachfront condo in Boca and Peace! C Ya Later cuz Plan D sure aint building an actual basketball team.
Sure, Isiah Thomas made his fair share of mistakes, but let's not forget he stepped into the poo-poo-platter that Scott Layden whipped up for him. Layden's last draft, in 2003, produced Michael "Hittin Up Sizzler Sure Would Be" Sweetney and Maciej "I Love" Lampe. Layden's last move before being fired was signing Dikembe "Who Want To Sex" Mutombo to a 2-year contract.
"Game Recognize Game." Isiah proved this true, for he sure could spot talent in the draft. Sadly, he missed his true post-baller calling as a scout.
Perhaps the moves that best sum up his reign are drafting Trevor Ariza "From Your Grave" (forced, I know) and subsequently trading him for Stevie "I Single-Handedly Caused the Demise of the Vancouver Grizzlies By Exposing the Inability of a Smaller-Market Canadian Team to Compete because of the Currency Exchange Rate, Tax Issues and General Ignorance Regarding Vancouver's Winter Weather and thus Indirectly Fueling the Second Lakers Dynasty of the Decade Via Ariza and the Pau Gasol Trade" Francis.
So we got Donnie Walsh to replace Isiah. He's done a good job of getting rid of some of the shitty contracts on the roster, but he's been plain about his disinterest in actually rebuilding the franchise in favor of a naked grab for Lebron in 2010. Unless Al "Wrinkled Dome" Harrington, Larry "Ill Street" Hughes, and Tim "Oh? A Lazy Three? I'll Pop That" Thomas are the future. If they are, sign me up for SkyNet.
Now, the load of crap the fans of New York are told time and time again, in every sport, is that this town just don't have the patience for rebuilding. But the alternative, ten years of middling mediocrity, is so much worse. For to make the NBA Finals is divine, to make the playoffs is iiiite, to nab a top lottery pick is genuinely hopeful, but to finish around 30 wins year after year and pick between 7 and 11 is just, well, middling mediocrity.
Sure, LeG.O.D.D. could end up in N.Y., but there are plenty of good reasons why he won't, as astutely pointed out by Frownie, and if indeed he says "Wait, I'm not gonna leave $30 mil on the table plus leave Skyway Burgers and Bath, Ohio behind," then what?
You get the bad feeling we'll be seeing D-Wade, rotten knees and all, rocking the orange-and-blue-and-black, sending shudders to those of us with longer memories of the sad codas of once-sensational slashers; Mitch "Richie" Richmond on the Wiz, Dominique "I Preferred Gerald" Wilkins on the Celts, Glen "Allah-Be-Praised, You Seen His Wife??" Rice on the Knicks, Latrell after the 99 Finals run, etc.
So yeah, no offense to Jordan Hill, who could turn out to be the next John Wallace or a decent forward (positions they sorta already have filled with Wilson Chandler and David Lee if he stays), but "Fuck the Knicks," which is basically what Pete Vecsey said this past weekend with a typically brilliant column.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
"That's it Eric, hold up that index finger, a lil higher, there, got it!" encouraged the cameraman as he snapped away at the Clippers' Training Center in Playa Vista.
"Umm, are we done?" mumbled an impatient Eric Gordon.
"C'moooon, E.G., just give us a smile and we can call it a day. Just a little-bitty-intsy-bitty smile."
"I have your dog right here."
"I'll shoot him right now."
"d-d-don't. I'll do whatever you want."
"Give daddy a smile."
Seriously, are the L.A. Clippers awake? Did someone approve this ad before it ran in the L.A. Times? With the Lake Show celebrating their redemptive championship, and possibly bringing the entire team back for an encore in 09/10, the Clips have never looked worse.
Seriously, look at Eric Gordon's face here. He looks like a 10-year old Charles Barkley who just shit his pants after eating a gallon of ice cream.
But hey, DJ Dense is gonna be there. Admission is free. There will be free draft guides. There will be Clipper Girls. I mean, sure, MILFy and all, but they aint exactly giving Paula Abdul a run for her money.
And to think, not too long ago, the Clippers were the biggest "G" team this side of the 2000 Jail Blazers.
Tangent. Were the 2000 Blaze the biggest "G" team of all time? Possibly. Probably. Definitely.
Rashweed "Cut The Check" Wallace. Steve "Smiff" Smith. Damon "Back When I was Good" Stoudamire. Bonzi "Dude, You've Got A" Wells. Scottie "The Knicks? Same Shit...Different Address" Pippen. Arvydas "Y'all Lithuanians Already Knew This" Sabonis. Dale "Where my Brotha Antonio At?" Davis. Shawn "Father's Day" Kemp. Greg "I'll Punch You In The Fucking Face" Anthony. Stacey "Plastic Man" Augmon. Rod "G.O.D.'s Gift" Strickland. Detlef "On The Stremf, F'realz" Schrempf. Gary "Cary" Grant. Will "I'm White" Perdue. Eric "Remember when St. John's was Dope?" Barkley.
Damn. What coulda been. Fuck Robert Horry. Motherfuck him and John Wayne.
What say you? Can you think of more "G" squads?
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
P.S. And for all 'the hitting coach doesn't even have that big of an impact on the team!' people, doesn't someone have to assemble scouting reports, go over tape with hitters, set up approaches during team meetings before series? What does Johnson do? Groom his mustache while watching Daniel Murphy chop grounders during batting practice? Watch Wright uppercut balls?
True story. Coachie, the wife, the sis-in-law and the nephew went down to dazzling Disneyland in Anaheim this past Saturday. Outside the gates was a furious man futilely being calmed by his girl. Furious because he had been denied admission into the land of endless wonder. Why was he not allowed in? Well, this chump was wearing a USC t-shirt that read on the front "BUCK THE FUCKEYES!" Chumpy got up that morning, gathered up his girl, envisioning exchanging pounds with Mickey, chowing down on churros, riding the tea cups, rocking the mouse ears, and generally indulging in the sound of childen of all ages laughing all while showing his deep disdain for Ohio State. What a clown. He'll probably file a lawsuit and win but ah well.
Unfortunately, yours truly couldn't grab a picture. Instead I offer this pic taken by the almighty Bizman at Dodger Stadium a few weeks back. Either Dodgers security flunked reading comprehension or do little to maintain a family environment. Oh, guess what? He was alone. I know. Stunning.
Monday, June 22, 2009
TONIGHT'S TALE OF THE TAPE:
Albert Pujols: 26 HR
Alex Cora + Daniel Murphy + David Wright + Fernando Tatis + Ryan Church + Omir Santos + Jeremy Reed + Luis Castillo + Tim Redding = 16 HR
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Our wanna-be Fonzie begins with:
"The Lakers won. Yippee, hooray for them and all that stuff."
Yeah, like whatevs, daddy-o, who cares about anything right?
"As civic pride dictates in these things, of course, everyone is supposed to be a Lakers lover now, giddy and overcome with affection for their heroes, but excuse me if I sit this one out."
Why, oh why do you yawn Simers? Let's see:
"The Lakers were good, all right, and gritty when they had to be, Kobe brilliant as almost always, while Trevor and Lamar added spice to the championship mix."
Hmmm, where's the beef?
"But winning it all makes them no more appealing, Kobe still over the top absurd in his mood swings, Pau still carrying on like someone swiped his rattle, Phil so above it all it's surprising he doesn't demand to be carried off the court like Cleopatra.
The Lakers are champions, but they did little to cozy up to the folks of L.A. beyond being good -- Kobe and Phil, the two leaders of this outfit, just as removed as always."
C'mon Kobe, can't you do a lil soft-shoe for our man Simers? Can't you guys do more than just be good and win ballgames for the ol' man? Can't you let those pearly whites gleam? Can't you preen?
But that can't be it. No, can't just be the lack of 'pizazz' that has ol' Iceberg Simers' panties in a bunch. Give it to us str8, no chaser, Teej:
"But now there will be a parade here, so everyone can pay homage to a bunch of people blessed by God with extraordinary athletic ability, but in some cases, the social skills that would make them outcasts in many workplaces.
Wouldn't you like to see the look on Gasol's face if your boss yelled at him?
You want to have a parade and scream your lungs out for a job well done, then invite the young men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to walk down Figueroa Street and be feted like heroes in the Coliseum.
How many people give it their all every day in their jobs, every year until retirement, 30, 40 and 50 years, with no chance of a parade -- as determined as Kobe, as focused as Kobe, as accomplished as Phil?"
Laziest sports journalism of the highest order. Most of us sports fans have bought the ticket, taken the ride, we consciously divide the back pages of the paper from the front. Without doing that, following sports would be impossible. In the context of all the crazy shiznit that goes in the world, investing our emotions in the athletic accomplishments of strangers is foolishness bordering on mental illness. But again, what makes it not insanity is our conscious division of real shiznit into column A and our entertainment, whether it be sports, movies, robots that transform into cars, videos of people getting hit in the groin with footballs, whatever, into Column B.
We don't need need holier-than-thou hacks like Simers to pull the "fuck these guys, they're not the real heroes" card on us. Go embed yourself in the frontlines in Fallujah if you're gonna pull this kind of armchair harrumphing. Otherwise, if you're gonna stick to the sports pages, stick to the ballgames. Same reason I don't follow Heathcliff's madcap adventures in the funny pages for insight into our crumbling economy.
Reminds me of Rick Reilly, who's so fond of churning out compare/contrast pieces between some supposedly spoiled athlete and some salt-of-the-earth coal miner. There was the time he said QB Kerry Collins had "the 'nads of a danish," and, wow, aint this a knee-slapper, saying if World War II had been up to pastry-pubes Kerry, "we would all be using umlauts now and taking Monday off for Goebbels Day."
Oddly, eight years later, Reilly dropped a Collins love letter, ending a column about him from this past season with this killer coda:
"If you look at Collins' face this week, you'll see a big cut on his nose. He was deer hunting, saw a six-pointer loping by, didn't have time to get a good rifle rest on his shoulder, fired anyway and the recoil nailed him. But he got the deer.
Figures. He never did like to pass the buck."
That's another calling-card of the sports-hack, ending their hard-hitting columns with lame faux-Hemingway-tough guy sparse prose. Let's see how cold-blooded Teej can be with his ending:"[W]hat's the difference between a Lakers championship and one won by the Sparks?
As far as I'm concerned -- with no rooting interest in either -- nothing."
Would you believe he rolls ciggies into his white-shirt sleeve and can make a jukebox hum just by elbowing it?
Now, I love newspapers more than anybody, but why shouldn't fans today read anything but newspaper sports sections if their prime column space is wasted on the ham-fisted humbug histrionics of grumpy geezers?
Friday, June 12, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The Clippers? Running embarrassing ads in the L.A. Times encouraging us to buy ticks based on their upcoming #1 pick in the draft. OOOO Yao? LeBron? Supes? How convenient that the Clips ignore their own history with #1 picks? 1998=The Candy Man, no not creepy Tony Todd, but Michael Olowokandi. Also overlooking the fact that they've chosen in the lottery every year save 4 since the lottery system started 25 years ago! "Chris" Benoit Benjamin. Hersey "Highway" Hawkins. Danny "Knees" Manning. Loy "Twas all for" Vaught. Terry "KoKo" Dehere. Antonio "Frownie Wuz Right" McDyess. Lorenzen "If Picking You Is Wrong I Don't Wanna Be" Wright.
The Clippers actually haven't done a bad job picking within the past 10 years. Lamar Odom. Q-Rich. Tyson Chandler. Of course, those three shone the brightest after leaving the Clipper Coupon Kingdom.
The Clippers are no strangers to running embarrassing ads in the Times, however. Their owner Donald Sterling, is quite fond of running multiple ads a day for his various housing developments and fake self-awards all featuring this hunky headshot:
Monday, June 08, 2009
But I don't think I've seen another world-class athlete look as vulnerably drunk as Lionel Messi here. Enjoy.
Saturday, June 06, 2009
"....merci beaucoup...mon boo."
Why should we care?
Derby winner Mine That Bird and 9 other horsies will run in this afternoon's Belmont Stakes out in the nether-world Queens/Nassau border town of Elmont without Freakness winner Rachel Alexandra.
No rematch between the he/she Mine That Bird, shorn of his bawlz after all, and fab filly Rachel Alexandra?
Every year, the promise of an exciting Triple Crown season returns, struggling a little less each year to avoid becoming part of the vestigal Americana of egg creams, soda jerks, adults playing baseball, automats, newspapers, chomping cockily on cigars, heavyweight champions, suits worn with hats and a strong domestic industry. We are told tales of when horse racing was right there with baseball as our most popular sport, that past champions such as War Admiral, Secretariat and Seattle Slew mattered as much as any star slugger or singer. I suspect the sport would be long dead were it not the only sport on which gambling is allowed. A $5 million bounty still stands for owner of the next Triple Crown champion.
This year, in yet another Triple Crown-less season, horse racing still had a chance to maintain the sporting public's interest with a Freakness-rematch in the Belmont. Instead, Rachel Alexandra's owners have pulled her out of the race, citing "tiredness." If the powers-that-be in the sport don't care about the Belmont, then why should we?
We'll take Frownie's old fav, Luv Guv, at 20-1 in the state that luvs its guv the least, followed by Mine That Bird (2-1), and Dunkirk (4-1).
- - -
Speaking of unconsummated rivalries, Roger Federer will take the court in Paris tomorrow for the French Open title. Winning would not only give him a tie with Pete Sampras for the most Slam titles, it would place him amongst the rare handful of eternals to win on grass, clay and hardcourt. Unfortunately, Nadal, whom Federer has faced in a record 7 times in Slam finals, beat him to that later feat when he won the Aussie Open back in January. Nadal will not be facing Federer, which is a damn shame as their rivalry reached a new plateau as each has adapted to win on the other's dominant surface.
I suspect that Federer will not find it to be a hollow victory if he wins tomorrow, much like how the Celts must have felt in winning the title in '86 over the Rockets instead of the expected Lakers.
The bigger question is where Federer ranks amongs the all-time greats. There is no more difficult sport in which to compare eras than in tennis. None. First there is the fact that the Open Era inaugerated 1968 made comparing tournament track records impossible, much like expanded postseason play in baseball has made a mockery of all-time postseason records.
More important is the change in equipment.I grew up playing with a metal racket that has about half-the-surface area of a modern racket. To play with a wooden racket is simply inconceivable. The rackets held by Big Bill Tilden all the way through McEnroe look like ping-pong paddles compared to today's equipment. They may as well have been playing with their hands. It is nothing like, say, the shift from wooden baseball bats to aluminum ones. It would be more like replacing a baseball bat with a adamantium cricket bat. It is replacing a feather with a bazooka.
Still, judging by Federer's unique-for-the modern-game all-around skill set, he would have likely thrived in past eras. Not everyone agrees on the importance of winning on all three surfaces, but I rank the feat as the most important factor in judging champions. Only Rod Laver and Andre Agassi have won all four titles, which is a major reason why I admire Agassi's career more than Sampras'. And why I think Federer is the superior player to Sampras, regardless of career titles.
Which is good, because I don't think he will win tomorrow. Fatigue has been a major issue for Federer of late. The man had mono after all. His semifinal lasted five sets, and the expectations of the entire tennis world will weigh heavily upon his floppy-haired dome tomorrow. Unless, of course, the fix is in, as hinted by the overly-supportive quotes given by the men's field in Paris. An example, as reported by the L.A. Times, "Everybody wants Roger Federer to win, even his quarterfinal opponent Gael Monfils, who said so in their post-match handshake." We'll be there, bright and early hoping.
How about y'all out there? Share your opinion on who is the greatest player in your lifetime and in history.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
A word about Putz: very few questioned Minaya's 'two closer' strategy last winter, but considering how badly the Mets were burned by the damaged goods they got in the Scott Kazmir-Victor Zambrano debacle, shouldn't they have had some concerns about Putz' health in 2008? The team's mishandling of Ryan Church, Carlos Delgado and Jose Reyes and their maladies implies total incompetence from the team's medical staff.
Godspeed to Minaya, because he is well aware his job is on the line.
Monday, June 01, 2009
Mercurial, an adjective rarely used outside sport, could also describe Drogba's team-mate Flourent Malouda. The flashy Frenchman was pried from Lyon amidst much hullabaloo in the summer of 2007, but has henceforth proved to be mostly invisible.
Not so Saturday. With 10 minutes remaining he took a Lampard pass and unleashed an absolute howler from 35 yards out that shuddered off the crossbar, thudded just inside the goal line and then out into the arms of embarrassed Everton keeper Tim Howard. What should have been a goal for the ages was erroneously ruled to not have crossed the line.
As I, and many others, have argued, it is inexcusable for the world's second-fastest team sport to not take advantage of video replay. Particularly so in a sport where goals are rarer than Michael Keaton sightings. The ref's ass was saved by virtue of Everton's inability to overcome their one-goal deficit. This time. The next time?