Taking Torch From Ted Kennedy … Curt Schilling?

Ask not what your country can do for you, Curt Schilling says. Ask what you can do for your country. And that something is to Vote For Schilling, if you live in Massachusetts, that is. Our Curt has expressed interest in running for the seat held for 40 years by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

George W. Bush, Curt Schilling

Yes when I think of the Kennedy legacy, the photo above immediately comes to mind. In fact, make that puppy giant-size and slap it on a few billboards around the state, and Schilling could be the first person ever to get zero votes. Sorry to ruin this thing before it gets started, Curt.

Read more…

Bronson Arroyo Loves His Drugs, You Bet He Does

When last we left Bronson Arroyo, he was telling the world on the eve of the trading deadline that he took androstenedione and amphetamines back in 2003, and that he wouldn’t be surprised to see his name pop up on baseball’s “secret” steroids list. The Reds, who were trying to trade him, were then shocked to learn there were no takers. So Arroyo remains on his yacht, strumming his guitar as a member of the Reds. Wait, they have yachts in Cincinnati?

Bronson Arroyo and friend

Anyway, our long-haired hero — who seems more like he should be a character in “John From Cincinnati” than a pitcher for Cincinnati — is amplifying his steroids remarks, even though no one is asking. Seems smart to me!

Read more…

Speed Read: Japan Wins The WBC, Anyone Care?

Two days, two monumentally impressive Japanese victories. Less than 24 hours after eliminating the inventors of the game, the Japanese baseball team knocked off their Asian rivals, South Korea, 5-3, in extra innings, saved by Ichiro Suzuki, the Jesus of their baseball chapel himself.

ichiro wbc

If you actually watched the game, you know it was an October-worthy classic in March. Hitashi Iwakuma, the Japanese Greg Maddux, pitched into the eighth inning. Korean bats went into hibernation right up until the bottom of the ninth, when Bum Ho Lee (yes, that’s his actual name, how he missed out on the NAME OF THE YEAR brackets, we’ll never know), knocked in the tying run off starting pitcher-turned closer-turned scapegoat-toward title game winner Yu Darvish.

Naturally, Ichiro would find his way at the plate in the top of the 10th with two men in scoring position with two outs, and he’d knock them both in, never mind the fact that first base was open. If Joe Torre took that chance for the Dodgers, he would have been skewered for weeks. We’ll see if Korean manager In-Sik Kim faces similar criticism.

But, despite all the heroics and histrionics, there’s a bigger question worth asking here: Does anyone care? If a manufactured tournament that’s been met mostly with apathy in the U.S. breeds an incredibly compelling game, does it really matter? It’s hard to tell. Clearly, it mattered more than most military actions in the nations that played in it, with Korea’s Jamsil baseball stadium in downtown Seoul packed with fans. That’s on top of the rabid fans of both national squads that packed Dodger Stadium far past the reaches it filled with for the U.S.-Japan semifinal on Sunday.

japan wbc

At the end of the day, it’ll probably matter a lot more two decades from now, when the event is a more established part of the annual baseball calendar. For now, we’ll have to settle for Japan’s second straight WBC title as much more culturally relevant in far-flung locales than where the action actually went down.

Speaking of baseball where nobody cares what’s actually happening, the Marlins finally had their new stadium project approved last night, with the Miami-Dade County commissioners approving the club’s proposed site and specifications for a new retractable roof arena at the site of the old, demolished Orange Bowl.

new marlins stadium

That’s right folks, that’s what the Orange Bowl has become: a parcel of land on which the city of Miami can keep a sports franchise that absolutely no one cares about. (And just think! That retractable roof will come in handy for a team that hasn’t had a rainout in four years!) That’s because the upside isn’t really for the Marlins, or for the city of Miami. It’s for Major League Baseball.

If you read between the lines of the story, it’s the nonstop lobbying of major league officials that really broke through the latest stalemate in negotiations. And how, pray tell did MLB convince the city of Miami that they need baseball? By proving that South Florida is the league’s “Gateway to the Caribbean”.

Really, that’s why MLB is so invested in Miami. It knows that the Marlins are mere hours away from oceans of baseball talent, and that Major League Baseball has to be there to keep pressure on those countries to keep serving as the league’s talent cash cow.

At the end of nine and a half hours of negotiations, that argument finally won out, sweetened by one significant addendum: Miami will host the finals of the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Maybe by then people here will care.

Our very own Arizona correspondent, Tuffy, tripped across a true gem late yesterday, when he discovered that the Phoenix Coyotes are handing out free tickets to Smirnoff vodka drinkers on his most recent run to the beer and liquor barn adult beverage drive thru alcoholic beverages outpost.

smirnoff coyotes promo

That’s right, so few fans actually want to see the Coyotes that the team is willing to give tickets away. All you have to do is buy another product. How much of that vodka sale is actually going to the Coyotes? Probably a couple bucks, at best. Still, that’s a better pull than they’re getting from most of those empty seats. After all, when you lose over and over and over again, even the greatest face in the history of your sport can’t maintain relevancy forever.

anna rawson

Will you watch the WBC in 2013?

View Results

NBA Cheerleaders Also Feeling An Economic Pinch

• The economic squeeze is being felt on the Denver Nuggets cheerleaders, as they’re now only being brought in to work weekend games.

Denver Nuggets Dancers

(Looking for a handout?)

Fortunately, the Nuggets Dancers (above) are still fully employed - for now.

• One more reason not to care about the WBC: The U.S.A. is D.O.A.

• It’s good when an NFL player wants to mop up a mess. It’s not good when said mop is used to attack the mother of said player’s children.

• Probable #1 MLB pick already repped by Scott Boras. This should go well.

• Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez once threw out the first pitch at a Mets game. Wonder what Fidel Castro would have blogged about that?

Read more…

Schilling Retires The 21st Century Way, Via Blog

Maybe you’ve never heard of him, but Curt Schilling retired today. The only reason you wouldn’t have heard of him is a series of strokes or other brain maladies that made you blind and unable to hear the voice of any ESPN SportsCenter anchor; the rest of America is taking an overdue sigh of relief that the bloviating Boston Red Sox right-hander will be shuffling off this professional coil instead of Favre-ing around for the next couple years, interrupting actual sports so he can opine publicly about whether he should start playing again.

Schilling Screencap
(Good night, funnyman.)

We’re even further indebted to Schilling that he didn’t make this decision via a press conference. As Clay Shirky recently wrote:

[T]he core problem publishing solves — the incredible difficulty, complexity, and expense of making something available to the public — has stopped being a problem.

And though he meant it in terms of the newspaper industry, it applies just as easily to press conferences. Instead of sitting in front of dozens of video cameras and speaking into even more microphones and pretending to cry (hey there, A-Rod!), Schilling merely posted a message on his blog, 38 PITCHES, explaining his decision. That way, Red Sox fans can read it at their own leisure while the rest of the world who could really give a damn less what Schilling does may merrily ignore it altogether. And again, unlike Favre, this appears to be final: Read more…

Speed Read: Gators Win BCS Title, Nation Yawns

It was close, but last night’s BCS Championship Game was far from a classic. Now nobody’s sure who the best team in the country is, with Utah, USC, and Texas all able to make legitimate claims. It certainly didn’t look like either one of the teams playing last night deserved it. The only thing we do know is that Fox broadcaster Thom Brennaman has a Florida-sized man crush on Tim Tebow, who finally decided to not suck in the fourth quarter of the Gators’ 24-14 win over Oklahoma. Brennaman and Charles Davis‘ gushing reached unbearable levels late in the game, when, after Tebow received a taunting penalty, they suggested that he was baited into it by an OU player (with zero evidence to suggest that was true). How could this guy have possibly done anything wrong?:

Tim Tebow

As for the Sooners, Sam Bradford continued a storied tradition of that year’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback playing like crap in the title game. Lions fans officially have nothing to look forward to.

The highlight of the game for me personally was the fact that ACC referee Ron Cherry was involved. Cherry made waves last season for creating a new reason to call a personal foul:

We know that the coaches are supposedly required to give their #1 vote to the BCS winner (although Utah’s Kyle Whittingham says he’s voting for his team), but the AP title was up for grabs. And even though Florida’s win could be considered somewhat lackluster (the defensive effort was really good, I’ll admit), they got 48 of 64 first-place votes, with the Utes receiving the other 16 and finishing #2. Way to make a statement, there, disgruntled sportswriters of America.

Rocco Baldelli and his weird mystery disease signed with the Red Sox yesterday. He’ll only get $500,00 in base salary, but can earn an additional $1.75 million if he stays on the roster all year. John Smoltz is rumored to be the next signing for the Red Sox. Meanwhile, Trevor Hoffman signed a $6 million dollar deal to be the closer for the Brewers this year.

Let’s get on with the linking:

• YAHOO SPORTS’ Adrian Wojnarowski writes that the Portland Trail Blazers are threatening litigation against any team that decides to sign Darius Miles. The Blazers were able to purge Miles’ contract from their salary cap last year when they succesfully argued that he had suffered career-ending injuries. But Miles recovered, and has played eight games. If he plays two more games, his salary goes back on Portland’s cap, limiting the Blazers’ versatility in the offseason free-agent market and also sending luxury tax money to every other team in the league. The Blazers are worried that some team will sign Miles to a 10-day contract just to screw them over.

Darius Miles

•  Stanford’s win over Washington in women’s basketball was expected. But nobody really thought the Cardinal would win the game by 77 points. Yikes. It’s the largest margin of victory in Pac-10 history. Stanford led 62-15 at halftime and rolled to a 112-35 win. The SEATTLE P-I has the game story.

• NEWSDAY says Brett Favre’s in no hurry to decide whether or not to return next year.  The suspense is killing me.

• According to MLB TRADE RUMORS, the Pirates are talking to the Yankees about a trade for Xavier Nady. You know, the same guy the Pirates traded to the Yankees last year. They might have new management, but they’re the same ol’ Pirates.

• THE DALY PLANET says that NASCAR’s truck series may be in a bit of trouble, and that you can count the number of drivers with a full-time ride in the series “on two hands.”

• This letter to the editor in the WALL STREET JOURNAL hits on a truth that isn’t often talked about so plainly: if you’re an NFL fan, you’re a fan of socialism.

• Iowa Hawkeyes radio broadcaster and former NFL player Ed Podolak was having some fun down in Tampa last week before the Outback Bowl. THE WIZ OF ODDS has the photos, courtesy of an Iowa State message board (of course):

Ed Podolak

Curt Schilling is getting after Dan Shaughnessy again, this time about Shaughnessy treating Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez differently in the same situation and suggesting the race card. THE BIG LEAD has the details.

• The EXAMINER’s Paula Duffy reports that the WNBA and L.A. Sparks are doing their best to pretend that they aren’t furious over the news that 2008 league MVP Candace Parker is pregnant. Parker is set to give birth in May, and it’s unclear when she’ll be able to return to the court, if at all, in 2009.

• THE NASHVILLE SCENE says a Tennessee representative has proposed a $400 yearly tax for pro athletes and entertainers as a way for the state to make money. Tennessee has no state income tax. No word on whether or not Kerry Collins would have to pay double.

Which is the creepiest announcer-related man crush?

View Results

EK: Manny IS ‘Despicable’ & Furcal More Important

Unwitting Just For Men spokesman Tim McCarver had this to say recently about Manny Ramirez: “It’s extraordinary - the dichotomy between what he was in Boston and what he is in Los Angeles. I mean, talk about wearing out your welcome in a town, and it was a long welcome with the Red Sox. But some of the things he did were simply despicable, despicable - like not playing, refusing to play. Forgetting what knee to limp on. And now it’s washed, it’s gone.

Erik Karros Manny Ramirez is a dog

(Was Manny a dog in The Bean? Karros: Yep.)

Since the comment came out on Tuesday, the whole of L.A. media has cowered at Manny’s feet, castigating McCarver for his unfair characterization. Except perhaps the best-known former Dodger under the age of 80 (who doesn’t lie about hookers and meeting the pope), Eric Karros.

Karros, now a respected TV and radio analyst, not only agreed with McCarver’s comment, but also said Dodger shortstop Rafael Furcal was the key to the NLCS against the Fightin’ Phils (and yes, My Boy Barry has your LA-PHI tickets - at a discount). Read more…

Is Anyone Out There Not Named Paige Green?

We now know there are at least three different Paige Greens floating around on the internet. One is the former Raiders cheerleader who will soon marry John Elway.

Paige Green John Elway

Another Paige Green had a very public engagement pronouncement in the SEATTLE P-I two years ago, and now is married to a gentleman named Reagan Dunn.

And a third Paige Green is a B-Movie actress listed on IMDB.

We’re not the first to confuse the multiple Ms. Greens, but Friday we reported that the woman who was noted in the Seattle engagement announcement was the same person who is now engaged to John Elway. That isn’t the case, and all apologies to all parties.

Today’s water’s wet, sky’s blue story is brought to you by TMZ.com.

Warren Sapp Dancing With The Stars Tantrum

Warren Sapp’s an a$$hole: “Our spies at “DWTS” tell TMZ Sapp’s big head and man-diva attitude are causing problems. We’re told he talks down to everybody (especially the guy dancers and production assistants), yells at people and consistently walks out of rehearsals with partner Kym Johnson.

Well at least he has his chronic halitosis to fall back on.

Remember those two goons from COI (that’s City of Industry to non-Angelenos) who are trying to lure the NFL to The Basin?

Not. Looking. Good. *shock* Read more…

Brog: Here’s Anna Rawson’s Cell: (213) 785-7675

The MOBILE PRESS-REGISTER has a quickie profile of hottie Aussie golfer Anna Rawson.

Anna Rawson

As part of the piece assigned to P-R reporter Tommy Hicks *high five Tommy Boy*, we get this:

Rawson is the first professional golfer to establish a cell phone number her fans can call and leave messages for her. Only four weeks old, the number — 213-785-7675 — allows her fans to leave personal messages. She said she has started listening to the messages and is going to return some of the calls. She added she likes the personal touch of the cell phone contact with fans and believes it’s a more personal way to keep in touch with them than mailing an autographed photo.

When I think of LPGA fans, “personal touch” usually isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.

So Rawson plans to return some of the calls? What’s the criteria for her call backs? Sufferer of a life-threatening disease? Honcho of a major corporation offering endorsement deal? South Korean LPGA tour member looking for English lessons?

Since Ms. Rawson went to USC, I’ve got a sure-fire way to elicit a reax: Trojans-Buckeyes tickets. (From My Boy Barry, of course.)

Speaking of hotties I’d like to touch meet personally, here’s some new photos of UTEP Bolivian baller baby Claudia Porras.

Claudia Porras

Claudia Porras large

Claudia Porras

Read more…

Jessica Simpson Jaws About ‘Boys Beating Eagles

Jessica Simpson decides to talk a little smack at the Philadelphia Eagles. What could possibly go wrong?

Jessica Simpson

Vince Young still feels a bit down - maybe a shrink can help him out.

Curt Schilling won’t share in New York’s elation over Tom Brady’s injury.

• Wooooo! Ric Flair gets beaten up by his daughter’s boyfriend, yet it’s the daughter who gets arrested for assaulting the cops.

Pete Carroll won’t play around with your conference call phone pranks.

Read more…