In the glory days of the 49ers, owner Eddie DeBartolo was infamous for packing up the entire team and trundling them off to Hawaii for a couple of days of R&R, on his own dime. Just a gesture to show you how much we care, you adorable lugs. And coach Bill Walsh was noted for his light practices and tendency to dress as a bellhop at the team hotel. Current Browns coach Eric Mangini has a different approach.
Five of his players are pursuing grievances with the NFLPA for his prolific use of the ticket book. The Browns coach as fined players for such things as illegal parking, having their cell phones go off in meetings, and my favorite: Not paying a hotel bill for a $3 bottle of water. And judging by Sunday’s 34-3 loss to Baltimore, the players may have had enough. Have the Browns quit on Mangini?
Sure Manny Ramirez most likely took steroids, and has been lying about it ever since. Most of his numbers are tainted. And he can also be a bit of a lout, as Red Sox traveling secretary Jack McCormick will be the first to tell you. But you know, there’s something about having your own likeness made into a miniature, bobbling doll that takes the edge off of your otherwise unsavory personality. One minute you’re taking a female fertility drug to come down from a steroid cycle, and the next you’re in a kid’s toy box with Buzz Lightyear and Talking Elmo. How bad can you be, really?
On Wednesday night at Chavez Ravine, it was as if Walt Disney had reached down from the heavens and penned the next big animated children’s feature, “Manny Being Manny.” Our hero, scratched from the lineup on his own Bobblehead Night by manager Joe Torre (voiced by Robin Williams) due to a sore hand, appeared as a pinch-hitter in the sixth and hit a dramatic grand slam, breaking a 2-2 tie and sending LA to a 6-2 victory over the Reds.
Manny hit the first delivery from reliever Nick Masset, a low line drive into, wait for it, the Mannywood section in left field. How perfect is that? Greg Brady and the rest of LA’s young Dodger fans sent home deliriously happy. Manny himself prancing about the clubhouse, admiring and playing with his bobblehead likeness.
“I’m going to send my bobblehead to left field,” he said to the LOS ANGELES TIMES. “It’s going to be in left field with Juan Pierre.”
That would probably result in six or seven fewer errors at that position over the course of the season. But I’m just thankful that the Dodgers went with the Manny bobblehead giveaway instead of one of their other ideas for Wednesday: A free home pregnancy test for the first 15,000 men in attendance.
It’s one of life’s cruel ironies that an (alleged) cheater and liar like Ramirez comes up smelling like a Rose Parade float, while on the same day, one of baseball’s truly good guys, Don Mattingly, is mired in crap. Mattingly, the Dodgers’ hitting coach, was distressed to learn that his 24-year-old son, Taylor, was arrested Tuesday night for pushing and spitting on his mother after she turned off his cable.
According to a Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office probable cause affidavit, Mattingly admitted jumping the brick fence of his mother’s residence on Darmstadt Road and confronting her. Mattingly told investigators his mother, Kim Mattingly, had sent him a text message insulting his girlfriend and his father, authorities said.
“Taylor advised he and Kim began to argue, and that Kim was being confrontational,” sheriff’s deputy Nathan Espenlaub wrote in the affidavit. “Taylor advised he snapped, pushed Kim down and spit on her.”
Taylor Mattingly also admitted flipping a patio table over and shattering another, breaking a patio door and window and throwing furniture into the walls of the pool house, according to the affidavit.
Kim Mattingly told detectives Taylor Mattingly had been upset with her over problems he encountered trying to trade in his car and a recent decision she made to cancel the cable service at the ranch where he was staying, according to the affidavit.
Meanwhile, those who exclusively depend on ESPN for their sports news were surprised on Wednesday to discover that the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger was involved in some sort of sexual assault lawsuit in Nevada. (ESPN reader: “I am shocked to learn this!”). Well dear ESPN reader, if the truth be known, the World Wide Leader in Sports is only now getting around to this news, two days after every other sports news outlet — including SI For Kids — first reported it.
ESPN: “Guilty your honor, with an explanation.” From PRO FOOTBALL TALK:
Now the network wants to explain their decision. ESPN spokesman Bill Hofheimer sent PFT a statement Wednesday night detailing the network’s position.
“Based on the sensitive nature of the story and other factors we mentioned, we initially exercised caution and did not report it,” the statement reads.
“Since then, we’ve been observing how the story has progressed, monitoring other news outlets, and doing our own reporting. We decided to report the story tonight.”
Look, I’m not going to make a big deal about this; ESPN can report what they like, and leave out the bits they find unsavory or not in tune with their corporate interests. It makes no nevermind to me. It’s just a little comical to see a headline like the one circled above suddenly appear, after the story had been totally ignored for two days. It’s like The Pope suddenly declaring in 2007 that the ruling against Galileo was an error.
It’s also a bit ironic that the alleged sexual assault occurred at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, which has played host to some of the world’s finest magicians. Watch me pull a Ben Roethlisberger sexual assault story out of this hat! (Polite applause). And now, more poker!
OK, I’m just bitter that the one year I decide not to attend the American Century Celebrity Golf Tournament, all hell breaks loose. First Roethlisberger, then this, and then this. Next year I’m camping out on No. 17. Come by and say hello (will not sign giant inflatable body parts).
And speaking of righteous indignation and inflatable body parts, here’s CBS Sports columnist Gregg Doyel, who would like you to know that you’re a loathsome degenerate for looking at pictures of ESPN’s Erin Andrews on the internet. Seriously, why don’t you just haul yourself to your local police precinct and turn yourself in? You disgusting, malodorous pervert!
Doyel’s column begins like this. It does not get kinder as it progresses.
You’re out there. I just know it. You’re reading this right now, aren’t you, you stupid little boy? And you are a little boy. I don’t care how old you are — you’re not a man. Not if you’re one of the thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of American males slobbering over the Internet for images of ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews.
You’re not a man.
What are these Erin Andrews images he speaks of? (Clumsily changes Erin Andrews’ butt wallpaper to photo of kittens).
We told you the other day of Bolivian pro soccer coach Julio Cesar Baldivieso, who thought it a good idea to put his 12-year-old son, Mauricio, into a game for his team Aurora. Predictably, it wasn’t long before the young lad was taken out by a kick from behind. But until I saw the video below, I hadn’t realized just what a cheap shot it was. Smear the Queer! Message sent: This isn’t a daycare center, Julio. A 12-year-old being driven off the pitch in a cart while screaming for his mother is not a good way to promote your league. Forget about it, Jake. It’s Bolivia.
Another celebrity death, and this one is very hard to take, seeing that he has been a central character in all of my Super Bowl parties. The Taco Bell chihuahua, dead at age 15. May you rest in peace, folded into the warm, flour tortilla of the heavens.
Sure, you may think that the recent theft of 58 curling rocks in Australia is a victimless crime. But that’s before you find out that the rocks are valued at $400 each, making the thieves’ haul about $23,200. The rocks were stolen from a truck in a parking lot next to an ice rink in downtown Melbourne. Police in jumpsuits are using brooms to rapidly sweep the parking lot for clues.
In stage 17 of the Tour de France, Alberto Contadoris still in the overall lead, and is also still acting like somewhat of a dick. Lance Armstrong in fourth. Then there is Inspector Clouseau here below, whom I believe is in second place.
Is Jens Voigt’scrash during Stage 16 more horrific in German, or in French? You be the judge. Ack … YouTube pulled the French version. Well, Voigt was knocked unconscious after sliding about 20 feet on his face, but regained consciousness in the ambulance and should be OK.
ESPN acquires the rights to all five BCS games, plus the Texas Bowl, giving them 30 bowl games this year. Le schedule.
He should have got the Verizon Network. Former cruiserweight champion David Haye is officially snubbing Vitali Klitschko, and will instead get his heavyweight title shot against Nikolai Valuev on Nov. 7 in Germany. This after Klitschko’s manager, Bernd Boente, “couldn’t reach” Haye’s manager by phone to finalize a deal they thought they had agreed to for Klitschko and Haye to meet Sept. 12. I love boxing.