Thanks For Landing Strasburg; Now Go Get Bent

Pity the work of an interim. They usually step into their jobs in moments of extreme duress - like when an executive leaves amid poor performance and/or misbehavior, try their best to right the organization’s ship, and are then usually unceremoniously pushed aside when the organization figures out who they really wanted to replace the disgraced exec.

Mike Rizzo
(Then again, perhaps he lost points for looking like the unholy lovechild of Jim Cramer and Billy Joel and Barney Frank.)

Every now and then, though, the interim performs so admirably in his job, accomplishing things above and beyond the usual triage, that it’s only right and fair to just hand him or her the job and skip the rigamarole of the search. A good example? How about Mike Rizzo, acting GM of the Washington Nationals after Jim Bowden left in shame this February. No, the Nats haven’t been good, but they fleeced the Pirates on a trade or two. More importantly, Rizzo stared down Scott Boras and brought Stephen Strasburg into the fold before the signing deadline, something that seemed so unlikely that the MASN announcers were wailing in dismay at the prospect of Strasburg sitting out.

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Speed Read: Cubs Riding Hard Liquor Bandwagon

It wasn’t enough for Diageo, the makers of Smirnoff vodka, to invite the good folks of Phoenix out to see their hockey team free with the purchase of a bottle of booze.  Now they’re plastering their name across The World’s Largest Beer Garden in an attempt to make further inroads into the sports scene. That’s one way to pay for stadium upgrades if you won’t pony up to the governor.

Drunk Boozer Wrigley Field Cubs fans

Wrigley Field will now host the Captain Morgan Club (a restaurant) and the Smirnoff Patio and provide lovely mixed drinks to the fans that like to do a little drinking around 10 am at home and then ride the El to Addison and start downing car bombs around 11:30 am for a 1:20 pm start.

If Cubs fans aren’t careful, they might even put Toronto Blue Jays fans to shame.  That’s not easy to do, either; they can’t be stopped even if Daddy takes the alcohol away for a game.  (Not to mention the gratuitous nudity.)

Also gratuitous: the entire 2008-2009 NCAA women’s basketball season. The University of Connecticut Huskies won their 39th straight game by double-digits to complete their undefeated season and claim the nation’s crown.

Connecticut Huskies

Stanford University of Louisville kept this game competitive for about as long as you’ve been reading this article thus far, which still might be the best effort of the year for a UConn opponent.  This could be the point for a snide joke about going pro in a little something we call life, but these young women are already professional assassins.  Yikes.

We know the short-lived hole in the media filter (and the filter on media members themselves) caused by Twitter will soon close and leave us with more canned responses and layers of personal marketing protection.  As we speak, there are businesses springing up around the management of social spaces and new media integration and other phrases that dampen the soul.

For now, though, we live in truly awesome times.  Example: Bill Stewart (West Virginia’s head football coach and the antithesis of R-Rod) has been carrying on like a blessed fool on Twitter, including how he threw all the kickers out of a meeting or how he gets so fired up by Chubby Checker that he sprints into practice at 4:15 am.

West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart

Go like this, Coach Stewart.  Go like this all morning long.

And now the twisting hail of bullets that Carl Landry could heal up from in only three weeks

Francis Buxton

  • Stan Kasten, president of the Washington Nationals, went on Philly radio and told Phillies fans just how much they were welcome to fill those increasingly empty seats at Nationals Park, having apparently forgotten that D.C. sports fans survive the surprisingly harsh winters by burning compressed carbon logs of their own hate for other teams.  You’d think Stan Kasten had bigger fish to fry, frankly.  For example, Dmitri Young just called Stan Kasten’s house because he heard Kasten’s hosting a fish fry.
  • Your NBA Draft early departure update: Blake Griffin (as mentioned late yesterday), Jodie Meeks, and everyone in the city of Tucson.  They’re gonna need a bigger green room.
  • Senator Ted Kennedy threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park on Opening Day.  Senator Bill Frist saw this video and declared Kennedy alive and well, raising his batting average to .500.
  • The San Diego Padres have one chance at a title: Miss California Carrie Prejean (a former “Deal or No Deal” model) will be competing for the Miss USA title in Vegas on April 19th and she’s a former member of the Padres’ “Pad Squad”.  It’s good that she’s no longer with the organization or Becky Moores might demand weekend visitation rights.

Carrie Prejean, Miss California 2009

How many majors for Tiger Woods this year?

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Redskins Forced To Start Captioning Song Lyrics

Since a lawsuit was filed in 2006 by three hearing-impaired fans, the Washington Redskins have been captioning game announcements, public service spots, and a variety of advertisements on a few small screens placed near midfield. Now, however, a federal judge has ruled that in order for the deaf fans to get the full experience of the game, they must also caption out “music with lyrics” being played inside the stadium. Which means that someone, hilariously, will have to type out every “Who!” in “Who Let the Dogs Out?”

Jim Zorn

(”Do YOU know who let the dogs out?”)

The ruling is important because, while the Redskins have been doing this out of the goodness of their hearts over the past few years - and because they didn’t want to be seen as hearcist -  they’re now FORCED to caption nearly everything that goes on in the stadium. And because of that, other teams around the league might be forced to become more hearing-impaired-friendly.
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Nats Park Second Impression? Broken, Half-Empty

Reports about the new Nationals Park in D.C. have happily parroted the company line about the $611m cost of the project. We will be terribly surprised if the final price tag remotely resembles that number except in its use of Arabic numerals and U.S. dollars previously belonging to D.C. taxpayers.

Nationals Park under construction

And what has the city received in return for the investment in Nationals owner Stan Kasten’s future? The Sunday night edition of Opening Day earned kudos, HD images carefully framed for maximum beauty, and a Ryan Zimmerman sendoff to inspire the masses.

How about the morning after? Not so smooth. In fact, it’s more like Jane Fonda’s morning after. Monday night’s second game at Nationals Park included wonky sound, finicky scoreboards, and the unfortunate appearance of the Washington Nationals as the home team. No wonder (a reported) 20k showed up, half as many as the big open.

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