Add my name to the Gleeman/Bonnes chorus: the Twins' Wilson Ramos-for-Matt Capps move was NOT a good idea. Capps is a decent reliever, sure, but saves are overrated, he's only under control for one more year, and I feel like they could've gotten more for Ramos, who last I heard was one of the top catching prospects in baseball.
Hopefully they'll prove me wrong. But a starter would've been better.
Rock DJ/Howard Eskin son Spike, on WIP's blog (who knew there was one?):
Repeat after me; Cliff Lee is gone, and he’s never coming back.But... but...
Now breathe deeply.
Repeat after me; Donovan McNabb is gone, and he’s never coming back.
Count to ten. While we’re at it…
Repeat after me; Brian Dawkins is gone, and he’s never coming back.
This will be a very helpful exercise, I promise.
And I have some confidence they will, as its been the best sitcom on TV for three of the last four years. But the show was completely rudderless last season- there was no overarching story arc, and quite a few total clunker episodes. And while I'm not one to complain about "hey, why haven't we seen the mother yet?," the fact is the creators seem to have run out of good stories to tell, with the exception of the mother one.
Because in a show called "How I Met Your Mother," when it gets to be season 6 maybe it might be time for the mother to show up.
A wonderful piece by Walter Kirn in the Times about how we don't watch sports, movie or politics anymore- we watch the behind-the-scenes machinations of same a lot more. I'm fascinated by that stuff, of course, but sometimes the real thing is much better.
Serwer on the Republican belief that Barack Obama and Eric Holder are, in fact, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale:
The implication that Holder and Obama are sympathetic to, even protective of, the racist, anti-Semitic New Black Panther Party in the absence of any evidence, suggests that, no matter how integrated they are into mainstream society, black people who don't have the conservative stamp of approval are always secretly plotting how to get revenge against white people. The implication is that you can never trust those people, no matter how they talk, dress, or act, because deep down, they're all King Samir Shabazz.
I like this, although the beard's gotta go:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
And don't even get me started on "Snooki-gate." You just know eventually there'll be a conservative freakout that Obama DOESN'T WRITE HIS OWN SPEECHES!
Deadline:com: Metrodome calls off Target Acquisition
Both companies are British; "Metrodome" is a film distributor and "Target" is Target Entertainment. Neither has anything to do with the Minnesota Twins or their former or current ballpark.
Note: It's an adaptation of a 1952 play that has nothing to do with SLJ or sharks. But I think the producers should get creative...
Sure, he had an electrifying debut, and is the Phillies' most highly-touted offensive prospect since Howard and Utley. But I imagine there's another thing- there are a whole lot of people in Philadelphia named "Domenic," or some spelling variation thereof. I bet at least 70 percent of Phils fans have at least one relative by that name.
There's a similar dynamic at play in Minnesota, where there are roughly 70,000 people with the last name "Peterson."
It now looks as though the Phillies are one step away from an all-Roy ace tandem, as the team has agreed in principle to acquire Roy Oswalt from Houston, pending the pitcher agreeing to waive his no-trade clause.
Now Topic A in Philly all year has been that the Phils screwed themselves before the season in trading Cliff Lee, with talk radio conventional wisdom that the team was once again too cheap to compete with their rivals (i.e., the Yankees), while hamstringing themselves with a $140 million payroll. "Why give themselves a self-imposed salary cap?," Joe Talk Radio Caller says daily. "No other team has one!"
The Oswalt deal, assuming it's completed, turns all that on its head. Oswalt is an ace pitcher, signed for more money and more years than Lee, which would seem to indicate that maybe the Lee trade wasn't about money- and really was about prospects- after all.
The Phils' stated reason in trading Lee was that the "cupboard was bare" in terms of prospects- and after the Lee, Halladay and other trades, it was. But the Phils' farm system has improved a lot this year- their two A ball teams, in Clearwater and Lakewood, are chock-full of prospects.
Let's not forget: the Phillies didn't just "trade Cliff Lee." They traded ONE YEAR of Cliff Lee, which is why it's so ridiculous to call this the "worst trade in history" or whatever else the 610 morons say. Lee wasn't going to re-sign with the Phils without going to free agency. And while Lee is a better pitcher than Oswalt, two and a half years of Oswalt, I believe, is more valuable than one of Lee.
(Sure, they should have made a better trade, and from a 2010 standpoint, the Lee deal sure looks like a mistake. But worse than trading Ryne Sandberg and missing his whole Hall of Fame career? No way.)
And about that self-imposed salary cap: Every team, other than the Yankees, has one. It's called a "budget." But the Phils have a much higher one than most teams- the fourth-highest payroll in the game. And the "cap" is neither immutable nor the same year-to-year- the team has added a veteran starting pitcher at the deadline four straight years (Moyer, Lohse, Blanton and Lee), and dramatically increased their payroll every year over the last (when they won it all in '08, it was around $90 million.)
So let's let the "Phillies are cheap" meme now die forever, along with the "self-imposed salary cap" argument. And enjoy September and October.
So how about that Domonic Brown?
This is much, much funnier than Zach G. and Carell's scene together in "Dinner For Schmucks."
The most charitable interpretation of this is that FOX is an extremely partisan network, and black people tend to be the Democratic Party's most loyal constituency. The less charitable interpretation is that black people don't want to watch a network where the only time they see people who like them on the screen is when FOX is discussing racist, election-stealing idiots who can't wait to start a race war so they can get back at white people. Maybe black people don't want to watch a network where people are surprised at their ability to eat at a public restaurant without using the word "motherfucker," and people fret about the "loss of the white Christian male power structure."When the only time black people are discussed on Fox's, it's to complain about all the racial double standards that favor them, I can imagine they might find it sort of unwatchable.
But no that's silly. I'm sure it's the Democrats' fault somehow.
1. As far as I know, when Pitino was coach of the Celtics and they practiced at Brandeis University while I was a student there, the coach never had sex after hours with any women at Cappy's Pizza or The Stein.
2. I'm so excited for the potential of "15 seconds" jokes that I might actually have to follow college basketball next season.
Nothing too bad in this week's Metro column. Other than the typo in the headline, I mean.
Noah talks about our recent road trip to Boston in his latest blog post.
Dan Kois on "Dinner For Schmucks":
So essentially what we have here is a mainstream comedy in which a totally nice guy has his relationship and career nearly ruined by Brick Tamland, but then, at the end, has to make a speech about how Brick Tamland is really the best—and not an idiot at all. I hope you can see why maybe that story wouldn't be as touching as the filmmakers apparently think it is.This is a movie with a lot wrong with it, but I laughed an awful lot the entire time.
I haven't been commenting much on the pile-up on Timberwolves GM David Kahn, mostly because I'm not that into the team anymore, and because, with the exception of the laughable Darko contract, I can sort of see what Kahn's trying to do.
Still, I enjoyed this movie idea from Simmons in Friday's mailbag:
A die-hard Minnesota fan tortured by years of losing finally snaps after bumbling Wolves general manager David Kane (played by Greg Kinnear) signs overrated franchise player Ruben Tugg (played by Drake) to a franchise-crippling $120 million deal, then vows on a sports radio show to murder Tugg in the 10 days leading up to July 15 (when Tugg can officially sign the contract), prompting Minneapolis police to send rising star detective Jennie Jamieson (played by Megan Fox) to protect Tugg for those last 10 days … and, of course, Tugg and Jamieson end up falling for each other, much to the chagrin of Jennie's boss (Bunk from "The Wire"). At the end of the movie, the fan somehow gets into the news conference and tries to shoot Tugg, taking down Kane instead, and eventually gets pardoned by the judge (a longtime Wolves fan) for saving the franchise. I like this concept because it could be a real movie (like a cross between "The Fan," "Big Fan" and "The Bodyguard") or a Skinemax thriller (and if that's the case, we'll make Jennie and her boss a divorced couple, leading to the climactic sex scene when they get back together at the end). The title of the movie? "Expired Contract."The only major motion picture about a Minnesota sports franchise is "Little Big League," where a kid becomes the manager (and owner!) of the Twins. "Expired Contract" sounds much better.
Sal Paolantonio, reporting live from the first day of Eagles training camp with a Mike Missanelli guest host whose name I didn't catch, had this to say about the new-look team (I paraphrase, maybe a word or two off):
It's just like Double Fantasy, John Lennon and Yoko in 1980. "Just Like Starting Over."A labored analogy, sure, but I suppose it makes sense. Just hope it's a limited one, and 2010 ends better for the Eagles than 1980 did for John Lennon.
Sorts of reminds me of the legendary Mark Eckel column about Leonard Tose.
News Item: Very few African-Americans watch Fox News
I'm just scratching my head as to why. Maybe because they talk more about "reverse racism" than they do about war, the economy or health care put together.
On the website touting his leadership training programs, New Prague City Council Member and former cop Ken Betterton brags about "his judgment enabling him to motivate and inspire local law enforcement officials."Betterton is not, of course, the first man arrested in Minnnesota in the last 15 years to give a vulgarity when asked his phone number. There was also this guy:
But according to a police report, when New Prague officers found him drunk on his knees in the grass earlier this month and asked for the phone number of his wife, who is a Minnesota state trooper, Betterton responded: "Yeah, 1-800 eat my ass."
That clip, if you didn't live in Minnesota in 1995, was played on KQRS roughly ten times per morning over a period of several years.
In addition, I'm guessing some variation on "1-800-EAT-MY-ASS" appeared in at least one David Mamet play. And when Viking Keith Millard was arrested in 1986 for disorderly conduct at a local motel, he did not give a vulgar version of his phone number, but did tell police "My arms are more powerful than your guns."
Oh oh the Wells Fargo Center is a coming down... that building is just a couple of name changes away from the record held by Joe Robbie/Pro Player/Landshark/whatever stadium in Miami.
I review "Salt"- a movie that a lot of critics I like inexplicably defended- on Philly.com. I was especially surprised how much Roger Ebert liked it, considering it borrowed liberally from his Little Movie Glossary.
The right's bottom feeder gets a taste of his own medicine:
Quoting "Usual Suspects," John Pagano has an excellent post on the "Menace and Moral Inversion" of the Teabaggers:
With the Tea Party nonsense, the simian reference is especially apt: the drooling viciousness with which this entirely id-driven movement is expressed reminds me of some of the more colorful chimpanzee attacks. The tribal perception of encroachment outrages an organic sense of entitlement. If I don't get my birthday cake, you don't get your face.
Shepard Smith stands up against his own network, along with subhuman slime Andrew Breitbart:
Also, Maddow, putting it all together:
The speech wasn't to an all-black audience (though the specter of black people revealing their contempt for whitey in closed-door meetings of fellow black people seems to drive a lot of conservatives into a paranoid frenzy), as the mayor of Douglas, Ga., was among the white attendees. And the story Sherrod told was about her work 24 years ago for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, not "her federal duties." So, that's a lie. Andrew Breitbart is lying in this paragraph. Just for the record. Andrew Breitbart lies.
Howard Eskin, in mocking Phillies manager Charlie Manuel for questionable in-game decisions, has taking to calling him the derisive nickname "World Series Charlie."
Why is this nickname derisive? I can't seem to figure it out. Manuel won one World Series and got to another. Isn't that a good thing? Wouldn't this be like mocking Stephen Hawking by calling him "Nobel Prize Steve"?
Angelo Cataldi's Metro column today:
On a week when the most flamboyant owner in sports history passed away, Jeffrey Lurie remained barricaded in his gold cocoon. Where is the owner of the Eagles, and why is he hiding from us?It's a common argument of the Anti-Eagles Movement, to complain that Lurie/Banner/Reid "hasn't spoken publicly" in however much time, when we all know Angelo and Co. would be slamming them to hell if they were talking, no matter what they said.
Even in his final days, a physically compromised George Steinbrenner was more accessible than Jeffrey Lurie, who seems to believe he can reap the huge rewards of NFL ownership without shouldering public responsibilities... So, where is Jeff Lurie? How can someone so adamant about Vick’s behavior become invisible when the quarterback’s conduct becomes a national issue? What exactly does Lurie think he owes Philadelphia for 16 years of loyal support?
It always sounds silly. But it's even sillier because Tuesday, the same day Angelo's column ran, the Inquirer ran a 5,000-word profile, complete with interview, of... Jeffrey Lurie. In which the Vick case is, of course, discussed at length by the owner.
And yes, Angelo and his editors should have known the piece was coming, as the Inquirer published a list of the headlines for its eight-part series of his favorite subject, the Eagles brain trust, on Sunday.
Jeffrey Wells notices that vile Andrea Peyser column that knocked "The Kids Are All Right" for daring to acknowledge that gay people might be good parents:
If I had two kids that I couldn't raise for whatever reason (illness, jail, impending death by gangsters) and I had to choose between their being adopted by a decent gay couple like Bening-Moore or a bigot like Peyser, I'd definitely go with the dykes.
That has nothing to do with politics. Last Friday, FoxNews.com trumpeted "live coverage" of Apple's press conference in which they discussed the iPhone 4's antenna problem. I tuned in, apparently thinking they would have, you know, live coverage, meaning cameras in the room and live video of Steve Jobs talking.
Oh no... Fox's definition of "live coverage" turned out to be "live coverage of five people sitting at a studio desk, one of whom was periodically reading the Engadget live blog out loud."
I'm a Yankee hater... and a Tottenham supporter. If this happens, I'm going to have to find a new Premiership club. I eagerly await Bill Simmons' take on this, as he's both of those things as well.
Why can't the Yanks buy Manchester United? They're exactly alike, have a history of business ties, and Man U's owners are broke. And speaking of Man U, I'll be rooting against then tomorrow night when they play the Union at the Linc.
Charles Johnson makes sense:
It should be pointed out (again) that the “Ground Zero mosque” these idiots are ranting about is actually a proposed community center with an auditorium, swimming pool, and restaurants, in addition to a mosque. It would be housed in an existing 13-story building that’s two blocks away from Ground Zero and has no view of the area; there are two very big buildings in between the proposed community center and Ground Zero.Sarah Palin, as with all things, is on the wrong side of this.
Sam Adams has the definitive FAQ on "Inception." I can't promise I can answer every one of them after seeing it just once, but I can say I was blown away, and it's the early leader in the clubhouse for best movie of the year.
I don't know what I like more about this blistering anti-obit of The Boss- that it's so delightfully nasty, or that the British author's name is Muhammad Cohen. Seriously- Muhammad Cohen. Yankee hate is the one thing Jews and Muslims can agree on!
Adam Serwer puts it to bed. Too bad such outlets as Washington Post and MSNBC are still beating this extremely dead horse.
Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski has an excellent blow-by-blow of how LeBron James got to Miami. Yea, we were pretty much all lied to throughout the entire process.
This piece by WIP host Big Daddy Graham has as much thinly veiled racism as a lifetime's worth of Tea Party missives. We get it- black people talk in movies. I'm sure whichever comedian first pointed that out in the '70s appreciates the homage.
This New York Magazine look at ten "that guy"s on TV for some reason omits the most ubiquitous guy of all, David Costabile. He's been on everything in the last five years- "The Wire," "Damages," "Breaking Bad," "Flight of the Conchords," cell phone commercials...
Noah celebrates six months in a new blog post.
The new trailer for the Aaron Sorkin-written Facebook movie, "The Social Network," is out now:
I love the children's choir singing Radiohead's "Creep," although why'd they have to use the radio-edit version that omits the lyric "you're so fucking special"? And how come none of the kids sang the "duh-duh" guitar riff.
It's a periodic table of British curse words. The creative cursing is my third-favorite thing about England, after the Beatles and the Premier League.
1. Did you ever notice that Larry David's Steinbrenner impression on "Seinfeld" was horrible? It was pretty much just David talking loudly in his own voice, while giving George a strong Brooklyn accent that he never had (the Boss was from Ohio.)
2. Is there any way we can force Steinbrenner's heirs into a contentious, protracted legal battle among themselves that goes on for years, and eventually makes signing new players impossible, ala the McCourts? Because that's the only way the Yanks aren't getting Cliff Lee this winter. Bonus points if it leads to the Dolan family owning the Yankees.
This is pretty damned impressive:
I love that the defeated opponents (it was Sting and Lex Luger, I believe) are the Cavs mascot and Delonte West, and the ref is David Stern. Is that Bill Simmons' head on Mean Gene's body?
I don't know that I've ever seen a writer misinterpret a movie more than Andrea Peyser does here with "The Kids Are All Right." Whereas every other writer in the world saw it as a nuanced look at a longtime lesbian couple and their family - a film virtually entirely free of politics- Peyser saw it as a propaganda film in favor of the "gay agenda."
I liked the movie, though I didn't quite love it. But I didn't see it as being about something that it isn't actually about.
I see Drew Magary agrees with me about violent climactic battles in movies:
They always show two armies mash together and start killing the shit out of each other, and you're always wondering how ANYONE survives. Watch the "Lord of the Rings" movies. I love those movies, but the battle scenes make NO sense. Gandalf will be out in the center of the shit on a horse and no one fucking TOUCHES him. What the fuck? It's a melee. Orcs should be attacking his old ass from all sides, even if he has some kind of crazy Wizard force field I wasn't aware of. Even Aragorn goes through the battlefield virtually unscathed. If you were in an orc melee like that in real life (if orc melees were, you know, real), you'd be dead within three seconds.
Weigel, on the Fox News jihad against the group they essentially created, the New Black Panther Party
One of the more jarring passages in Rick Perlstein's "Nixonland" is his recounting of a popular myth that went around Iowa in 1966, the year of the conservative backlash against the Great Society. The myth was that black gang members on motorcycles were going to head from Chicago to ransack Des Moines. Reading this in 2008, it sounded preposterous, the kind of thing that no one could believe in the country that was about to elect Barack Obama. But Kelly, under the guise of journalism, is working to create a rumor like this in 2010. Watch her broadcasts and you become convinced that the New Black Panthers are a powerful group that hate white people and operate under the protection of Eric Holder's DOJ.How long until Fox starts talking about how the New Black Panthers are going to break into your house and rape your daughter?
E.J. Dionne on the NAACP vs. the Tea Party:
Here's what Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, asked of the Tea Party during a speech at the civil rights group's convention in Kansas City, Mo.: "Expel the bigots and racists in your ranks or take the responsibility for them and their actions. We will no longer allow you to hide like cowards."Also: If the Tea Party was black:
The NAACP is doing what conservatives have done for decades in demanding that liberals and progressives separate themselves from left-wing extremists who trashed America, burned flags and praised foreign dictators. The racists are the Tea Party's flag-burners. It's fair to ask the democratic left to condemn extremism. It's fair to ask the same of the democratic right. (Note the small "d.")
This is some inspired satire.
News Item: Tea Party spokesman: NAACP is racist
I review the iPhone- based on playing with my boss' for 90 minutes- on E-Gear.com.
Isn't that what every Fox News show should be called?
This Black Panther case may be the right at their lying, race-baiting worst. Not only are they making a couple of idiots playing dress-up at one, nearly all-black polling place in one city at which no one was preventing from voting, into a massive black militant conspiracy, but they get to turn Obama into the Angela Davis caricature that every Fox News watcher knows in their hearts he is. It's vile, disgusting, racist-to-the-core stuff, Willie Horton times 100.
And I love the outrage that the Congressman didn't think this is the most important news story of all times. Good for Kirsten Powers for pointing out Fox's "scary black man thing."
Why is [Megyn Kelly] doing so many stories on the Panthers? It's because Fox News uses the Panthers the way that Phil Donohue used to use the KKK or G.G. Allin. They're good on TV. The difference between the Panthers and other freakish groups that look good on the air, of course, is that that they threaten white people.
How often does Fox bring on the Panthers, or talk about them? A Lexis-Nexis search finds 68 mentions of "Malik Zulu Shabazz," a leader of the NBPP. The majority are appearances on Fox News, where Shabazz is repeatedly brought on to act as a foolish, anti-Semitic punching bag. Among the segment titles: "Professor's Comments on Whites Stir Controversy" and "Black Panthers Take a Stand on Duke Rape Case..."
This isn't journalism. No one cares what the NBPP thinks about anything. This is minstrelsy, with a fringe moron set up like a bowling pin for Hannity to knock down. And that's the role the NBPP plays on Fox, frequently.
A WIP caller Tuesday, as George Steinbrenner's legacy was being assessed, opined that "I wish George Steinbrenner owned the Phillies!"
Say what you will about the team's current ownership group, but I'd say they beat out having an owner who is deceased.
An awesome map of areas of New Jersey mentioned in Bruce Springsteen songs.
He was perhaps the most influential sports owner in history, and today everyone is pretending they liked him when they probably didn't (as Craig Calcaterra ably points out.) Of course, this is what I'll always remember most.
News Item: Appeals Court Strikes Down Indecency Rule
That goes for you Jesse Jackson, and you too Michele Bachmann. It's bad enough that Nazi analogies have replaced political discourse in this country, now everything is slavery, too. Even if a guy chose to take $100 million from one basketball team instead of another.
In a move that brings one of the best pitchers in baseball to his fourth different team in less than a year, Cliff Lee was traded last week from Seattle to Texas.
The move is a bummer for Twins fans, who had coveted the lefty and will now have to make do with someone else, as well as Phillies fans, who once again must watch Lee pitch for a team other than them (the Phils, despite being Lee-less, did manage to sweep the first-place Reds over the weekend.) And the Yankees didn't get Lee either, but we all know they'll sign him in the offseason.
As for the Rangers, they're the only team in baseball that has never won a playoff series, so having Lee in the fold may be their chance. They may even get out of bankruptcy.
Matt Taibbi with one of the better takes on last week's disastrous LeBron special. Meanwhile, Brian Windhorst has the inside story of how the three stars went to the Heat. Someone's going to write a great, great book about this free agency period, and I've got a feeling it'll be Windhorst. I also expect he'll have a gig with ESPN within the year.
Jonathan Last, in the Weekly Standard, has a fascinating look at Linda McMahon's Senate candidacy. As I've said before, the WWE's long history of its current and former employees dropping dead is likely to become a campaign issue in its CEO's run for office.
I'm sure if hundreds of Bloomberg News employees had died over the years of similar causes, Mayor Mike never would've taken over New York.
Dana Milbank, who I'm no fan of, has an excellent column about how so much of the anecdotal evidence cited by the anti-immigration forces- including the report from the Arizona governor about beheaded bodies in the desert- are total horseshit. Of course they are- political movements predicated on nothing but hatred of whole races of people have a tendency to lie about stuff.
Former "Law & Order" actor Michael Moriarty, who years ago abandoned acting apparently to embrace political extremism full-time, has an unintentionally hilarious essay at Andrew Breitbart's Big Peace site, which in rambling fashion strikes all the bases of anti-Obama vitriol.
In one incoherent nonsense-filled essay, Moriarty manages to call the president both "America's blind Fuhrer" and a Maoist, as well as a jihadist and a eugenicist. How can he be all four, when in reality he's none of the above? He's also described as an "Ivy League Mobster," and the future author of "Maobama’s Fourth Reich." My favorite part, which I'm surprised doesn't include a TelePrompter joke:
The President must think he can whip up a private army out of Black Panthers, Andy Stern’s union sycophants and the Mexican illegals he’s planning to give an American right to vote to. He’d better hurry up.Huh? This makes me long for the restrained, moderate politics of that other former "Law & Order" DA, Fred Thompson.
As I’ve said and will say again, America is not 1930’s Europe nor 1950’s Red China.
Perhaps The One, the American Chairman and Fuhrer can wave his magic wand and make it so.
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
For Tommy Wiseau's next film:
It's a 12-minute short, supposedly, and not an elaborate practical joke. You'd think the solution to "The House That Drips Blood on Alex" would be for, I don't know, Alex to go outside.
Yes, a fistfight at the Tour de France:
Josh Levin in Slate, on the LeBron debacle:
"Call it LeBron's Law: If you are voluntarily making a public Decision about your life, and the Decision will not be greeted by cheers and hugs and balloons, it's probably a bad idea to make said Decision on national television in front of a live studio audience... don't you bus in children to your made-for-TV announcement so the children can cheer and squeal? Even the children—the children!!—seemed shocked and dismayed. It's like the kids were invited to the Bozo the Clown show and were forced to watch Bozo murder a puppy. With all the proceeds of the puppy-killing going to charity, of course. Also: Drink Vitaminwater
Nice to say Eugene Robinson, for once, stand up to this vile, evil old man:
I'm sure it'll get good ratings, but ESPN's "The Decision" special tonight was one of the network's all-time lower moments. As great as "30 For 30" is, consider this the exact opposite.
There was the first 20 minutes, a hodgepodge of highlights packages and in-studio debate that was totally indistinguishable from anything ESPN has run on its air in the last three weeks. "LeBron's decision is next- but first! More highlights! Then we'll ask our panel of experts for predictions! Then that map showing which states though he'd sign with which team!" Didn't ESPN promise the decision would come in the first ten minutes?
There was Jim Gray's embarrassing questions, in which the only question anyone cared about- "which team are you signing with?"- was about the 10th asked.
This was not a news event, and the participants were not journalists. It was what Daniel Boorstin would've called a pseudo-event. And I still don't know why they had it in Greenwich, Conn.
And of course, there was the shocking cruelty in which LeBron James essentially took out a national TV ad to break up with Cleveland, the metro area where he grew up and in which he played his entire career. It's hard to blame Dan Gilbert, for the most entertaining non-Mark Cuban owner missive in league history.
I'm trying to imagine how much I, as a Twins fan, would hate Joe Mauer if he hadn't signed the extension, reached free agency, dragged the process out for months, and then held a nationally televised prime time special in which he announced he was signing with the Yankees.
A few more notes on the debacle:
- I really feel bad for Cleveland, which truly has suffered more than any other sports city in the past five decades, and it's not close. I wouldn't have blamed the fans if they tore down LeBron's billboard, Saddam Square-style.
- I still can't believe LeBron referred to his new team as "South Beach."
- Yes, we must give Stephen A. Smith credit for breaking the story almost a month ago that LeBron, Wade and Bosh were all going to Miami. A little bit of redemption for possibly the nation's most hated sports media figure. Meanwhile, Chris Broussard essentially had Miami as the destination yesterday, but was forced- by forces on high, I'm guessing- to use the "signs point to" caveat.
- With the signing, the Heat now have a whopping four players under contract for next season! Better get cracking on filling out that roster.
- That's because they essentially gave away Michael Beasley to the Wolves tonight for a second-round pick. Beasley's had his troubles i the league, but it's still always a good thing to get the 2nd overall draft pick from only two years ago, essentially for free; now Darko's not even the best former #2 on the roster.
- Will the Miami All-Star team work? Who knows? I won't be surprised, though, if James and Wade fall out and one of them is traded in two or three years.
- LIke my friend Aaron Gleeman said on Twitter, if he's an Ohio native who's a Yankees and Cowboys fan, you probably couldn't count on his loyalty to the region.
- I don't want to hear it, Knicks fans. You didn't "lose" LeBron. In fact, you never had him. And thanks to the wonderful leadership of the Dolans, I'm sure you never will.
Exhibit A: A caller to Howard Eskin today opined that the only reason the Phillies "don't have it" this year is that they're missing Cliff Lee. I'm sure the injuries and the inexplicable yearlong offensive slump had nothing to do with it. And don't forget, the Phils won the World Series, the year before last, without Lee on the roster.
Exhibit B: Jack McCaffery proclaims the Lee deal the "worst trade in modern Philadelphia pro-sports history," putting it on top of a top ten list that inexplicably places the Ryne Sandberg trade to the Cubs at only #9. Please. The Phils, even if the prospects end up being nothing- and the jury is still out on that- gave up only one year of Lee. In dealing Sandberg, they missed out on an entire Hall of Fame career.
Noah talks about his first fourth of July, and his new cousin, in a new blog post.
So it's been a pretty insane few days in NBA free agency, highlighted by the astonishing decision by LeBron James to actually announce his free agency decision during a live hourlong special. This, of course, brings all sorts of ethical questions- how can ESPN reporters try to break the year's biggest sports story, while not undercutting their network?- as well as logistical ones, such as, how will they possibly fill an entire hour?
Does it make LeBron look like a jerk to do this? Of course. But does this represent The End of Sports As We Know It? Of course not. I actually think it's fascinating. Player movement is always intriguing- sometimes even more than the sports themselves- and thinking about which players fit into which teams has me more excited about the NBA than I've been in years.
So what should LeBron do? Anywhere but the Knicks, I'd say.
Tim Marchman on the odious Marc Thiessen and his stupid article alleging that soccer is socialist:
Marc Thiessen, torture advocate, is one of the more loathsome figures in American public life, which is relevant here only because he's strayed out of his lane and written the most fucktarded thing I've read about sports this year. Think about what this means coming from someone who regularly reads Philly newspapers and MMA blogs... Thiessen is a really wretched figure on many levels, but the most impressive thing about him is his overwhelming stupidity. Which is to say that one hopes he keeps up the sports talk: Not only does he fit right in, but so long as he's badly embarrassing himself by talking about soccer, he's not using his highly visible public platform to tout the lawless and immoral use of state power!
This is pretty sad, as a Philadelphia duck boat crashed into a barge on the Delaware River yesterday, leaving two Hungarian tourists missing and presumed dead.
There was a guy I used to get emails from all the time who hated the duck boats and everything about them and wanted them banned- mostly because of the noise, I think- but it doesn't look like the Shut the Duck Up campaign is active any longer; their blog hasn't been updated since 2008.
If you're a journalist, and you PRAISE HEZBOLLAH then yes, you should be fired. They're not just another political party, they're a full-on terrorist organization, and there's no excuse for praising them.
The700Level: Enough About Cliff Lee
The anti-stats guy quoting Mike Missanelli is the best part:
"Who are you, fucking Jeff Francoeur?"
1. British panel clears "Climategate" scientists.
2. It's fucking 100 degrees on the whole Eastern seaboard.
But in fairness, Al Gore still lives in a big house.
News Item: Obama sues over Arizona law
Since everything else Obama has done- from health care to Mideast policy to the BP escrow- has been compared to Nazism, I'm wondering which pundit will play the Hitler card first on this.
If the rest of "Louie" is half as good, I'll be very happy with the whole season I'm sure.
"Kick-Ass," "Toy Story 3," "Greenberg," "Shutter Island," "Solitary Man," "Hot Tub Time Machine," "Youth in Revolt," "From Paris With Love"
And the Worst: "Sex and the City 2," "Jonah Hex," "Green Zone," "Leap Year"
Not sure who first brought it up, but it's been noted that Evan Turner, who the Sixers drafted with the second pick in the NBA Draft last month, has a very familiar speaking voice:
This alone may be enough to get me interested in the Sixers. The same would go for the T-Wolves if Wesley Johnson talked like Master Shake- or, say, if they hadn't given four years and $20 million to Darko.
Tom Scocca on Joel Stein:
Joel Stein's lack of funniness is the key to understanding any phenomenon involving Joel Stein. He is a bad and incompetent humor writer, a writer who lacks the basic ability to control his tone and persona. I know no one under 50 who does not hate him because of this, because he is out there constantly soaking the pages of a major national magazine (not a magazine for writers or for readers, but still) with his flop sweat, as he feebly enacts what Time magazine thinks a young, funny person would be like.
Philadelphia Magazine has a very entertaining look at the Philadelphia sports radio war between WIP and 97.5 the Fanatic. The gist- essentially, they're all jerks- Eskin and Missanelli most of all- and Angelo Cataldi came very close to leaving WIP last year and may very well have ended at 97.5 if he had.
Another nugget- the Fanatic would like to steal the Phillies from CBS Radio- and since they're on FM, it wouldn't surprise me if they did.
My review of the new "Twilight" film- which I liked a lot more than I expected to- is online here.
Have a wonderful weekend and July 4 everyone. Be back Monday.
More great stuff in the news about Mel Gibson! I'm sure all the people who defended him during the "Passion" controversy are proud of themselves.
Read the transcript- between the n-word, c-word and rape references, the quotes could also double as a Sarah Silverman comedy routine.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|World Cup 2010: Into Africa - Vuvuzealots|
Yes, I know he played well down the stretch last year. But that's a lot of money and a lot of years for a guy whose name is synonymous with words like "underachiever" and "bust" and "huge fucking mistake."
I'm a bit happier about the other center they signed, Nikola Pekovic, but then again I would've preferred the other draft pick they have stashed in Europe.