Steve Perry sings along to "Lights":
The big outrage in Philly today is that GM Ruben Amaro said in a radio interview that there's a chance the team could be a better team without Jayson Werth, the righthanded slugger who appears likely to leave the team when he becomes a free agent.
Some are even calling for Amaro to be fired- although among those "some" are people who can't spell Amaro's name right in a headline.
But really, what is Amaro supposed to say? "Yes, we're going to be worse?" That's going to depend on who they get to replace him, how Werth does with his new team, etc. There are a million variables. GMs who aren't named David Kahn aren't generally in the business of admitting they're about to have a bad year. And Bill Smith didn't say "we'll be better without Johan Santana" right before he was traded, but guess what- the Twins ended up being better without Santana.
Sure, the Phils will probably take a step back, short term, without Werth. But the question shouldn't be "will they be better next year?," it should be "is it wise to do what it would take to keep Werth?" Giving a five-year deal for huge money, or at least huge enough money to win a bidding war, to a player who's over 30, when every other regular on the Phils is also over 30, might not be so advisable, especially for a team that really, really needs to get younger.
There's also the fan fantasy that Werth will take less money or fewer years to stay in Philly, although players who fire their agents and hire Scott Boras, as Werth did a few months ago, aren't known for doing that sort of thing.
That Tarvaris Jackson might play on Sunday, or that I'm already trying to talk myself into it.
But this whole "Childress threw Favre under the bus" thing- who cares? Why are athletes such little children about this kind of thing? Yea, Childress offered some mild criticism in a press conference that it was bad for Favre to throw three interceptions- well, isn't that true? Isn't that plain to see to anyone who watched the game?
The popular file-sharing service announced today that it is complying with a court order and shutting down. Napster got there first, but Limewire managed to last a lot longer.
What I’ve learned over the past few days is that both sides do it. Whether it’s a left-leaning writer using the phrase “curb-stomping” or an angry mob of conservatives actually performing a curb-stomping, whether it’s a liberal drawing a Hitler mustache on George W. Bush or a right-wing militia member blowing up a federal building, whether it’s two black guys in berets standing outside a polling station or a hundred years of Jim Crow laws. It’s all the same stuff and we should just admit it.
That's a reference to this incident last night, in which a woman was beaten by a mob at a Rand Paul rally, and got a concussion. Yes, a WOMAN was BEATEN by a MOB at a political rally. Why isn't the lead story of every newscast in the country today?
PFT thinks Childress may be on the hot seat, but then again, PFT ALWAYS thinks EVERY coach is on the hot seat.
Is Chilly doing a bad job this year? Of course he is. And he didn't exactly cover himself in glory spending the whole offseason begging Favre to come back, and then immediately start feuding with him. But the team did come within one stupid Favre pick of the Super Bowl, and that was last year, and he did get an extension. The only way I see Childress getting fired is if they lose the rest of their games, and even then I imagine he'll last the season.
Link is to Craig Calcaterra, who of course thought of the same "Seinfeld" reference as me. Luckily everyone's okay.
But I can't help but think- an entire professional sports team being killed in a plane crash, during or immediately after a playoff series, would be both the biggest tragedy and the biggest story in the history of sports. I mean, it would be about 50-100 people, all of them generally famous, dying all at once, and would have such an effect on that city and that team and that sport. You thought Cleveland was devastated by LeBron leaving?
Instead of either/or, how about both/and? [Alec] Baldwin is a hot-tempered, maudlin, navel-gazing bozo, and one of the great character actors and improvisational comics alive. Mel Gibson is an anti-Semite, a sexist, a homophobe, and very possibly a deranged religious fanatic; he's also one of the few bona fide movie stars of the last three decades and the most brilliant action filmmaker since Sam Peckinpah. Polanski is a great director and a sex offender. Kazan was a great director and a rat. Lohan and Moss are substance abusers and arresting beauties whose most interesting work probably lies ahead of them. Sheen is a master of droll self-parody and an unexpectedly charming sitcom star, and a wife-abusing scum that should be behind bars right now. If I cared enough to hypothesize an ideal future for Sheen, I'd picture him serving several years in prison for assaulting his wife, preferably in maximum security with the hardest of hardcore felons, then moving over to HBO, playing himself.That last scenario is now looking increasingly possible.
A great, great graph from the wonderful Flip Flop Flyball. I love how much of the top ten in payroll- the Cubs and Mets especially- were terrible this year. And who knew the Twins would ever be so high in those sorts of standings?
My old paper at my old school writes about the major national news story that happened on campus. You know, people are freshmen in college now WEREN'T EVEN ALIVE YET when the Thomas/Hill hearings took place. I think it's a pretty safe bet that the majority of Brandeis students had never even heard of that episode prior to last week. So here's a primer.
Great news from the NYT. The PTC is an evil, totally un-American group that hates culture and free expression. They are censors and fascists and the worst organization in America- aside from Focus on the Family, the Mafia, NAMBLA and the New York Yankees.
Jewornotajew asks the tough questions.
- Good episode, one of the best of the season. The stripper/"Esther" scenes made me really, really glad to have a son rather than a daughter.
- I just realized- that's Dawber from "Coach" playing Marshall's dad! I knew he looked familiar.
- The "Jeremy" joke- referencing the Pearl Jam video- was subtle and brilliant.
- As for Marshall's high school flashback- I find it unrealistic that the hottest girl at a high school in Minnesota wouldn't have been blond.
Today's the eighth anniversary of Paul Wellstone's death. Yes, he's still missed.
I know these aren't new, but anyone else a little creeped out about these Miller Lite "Man Up" ads? In each one, a male customer orders a non-Miller light beer, at which point the attractive female bartender insults his masculinity.
What's the angle here? Why would Miller insult its own customers? And how is Miller Lite any more manly than any other light beer? And I know I've never had a bartender tell me off based on which beer I ordered.
Whoever came up with these ads must be a man with a humiliation fetish. Totally unheard of in the advertising business, I know.
My son talks about his trips to New Jersey and the Philadelphia Zoo in his latest blog post.
The Phillies' season ended Saturday night when they lost to the Giants in the sixth game of the NLCS. It's a disappointment to lose, especially to a team filled with journeymen, but getting to the NLCS is certainly nothing to be ashamed of.
The Phils' problem this year is one that they've run into periodically since they became good again five years ago- sometimes, the entire team goes into horrible batting slumps all at once. It happens a couple times a year, and on a couple of occasions (the Colorado loss in the 2007 NLDS, and this year against the Giants) it happens in the playoffs. This is one of those things that a team can't really do anything about- it's not like you can try and sign more slump-free playoff.
Some will blame Ryan Howard, especially since he had no RBI in the playoffs and struck out looking to end the series. But Howard's still a great, great player, and he's not going to be traded- the $135 million or so on his contract guarantees that.
What the team does have to do, though, is get younger. Domonic Brown will take over one outfield spot, and perhaps they'll sign a younger right-handed outfielder to take some of Raul Ibanez's at-bat. Cody Ross would've been a candidate, but after these playoffs he's likely to get an unjustly huge deal from some other team.
On a personal note, I'll always remember this Phillies postseason for Roy Halladay's no-hitter, which my son was awake for, and watching it together was the first of what will be many father-son baseball memories.
Strangest fact of all- the Phillies, whose history goes back to the mid-19th century, have never played a Game 7.
A bad choice of headlines, perhaps. Then again, it's hard not to do that these days with Favre...
Just a brutal Sunday night game in general. neither the Vikings or the Packers played particularly well, the Vikings had multiple touchdowns overturned, including what appeared to be the game-winner. And, shades of the 1998 NFC championship game, the Vikings just plain gave up with 40 seconds and multiple timeouts left at the end of the first half.
Favre threw three interceptions, all of them terrible, and unless he was "selling" the injury, wrestling-style, he appeared like he could barely walk upright. Which earned him inexplicable praise from the announcers. At one point, when he hurt the ankle and refused to let the trainer look at it, Michaels and Collinsworth talks about this like it was praiseworthy- a wonderful thing, following this last week of hand-wringing over serious NFL injuries.
Is the season over at 2-4? Not quite. But they've now lost as many games as they did all of last year, and I don't see this as the kind of team to have a 7-1 finish to the season.
Aaron Gleeman has re-started his "Top 40 Minnesota Twins List"- the first time he tried, I don't think Joe Mauer was on the team yet- and #40 is one of my favorite Twins ever, Randy Bush.
Bush was a generally mediocre outfielder/DH/pinch-hitter, but I always liked him, mostly because he seemed to always either get a homer or clutch hit every time I went to the game. Now he's an assistant GM with the Cubs, he played his whole career with the Twins and retired with two rings.
The Tennessean has a great expose of the various charlatans who make millions of dollars as for-profit "terrorism experts," which mostly consists of pointing out nonexistent ties between innocent people and terrorists, and scaring people, a lot.
I wasn't aware of this until last week, BajillionHits.Biz is damn brilliant It's a parody of Jeff Jarvis, Jay Rosen and other "new media gurus," as well as the SEO movement. Super inside-baseball stuff, but if you follow this extremely vacuous corner of media theory, it's absolutely spot-on. Here's the Daily Beast profile of the "Colbert" of the Internet.
Tom Scocca demolishes P.J. O'Roarke's election article in the Weekly Standard:
By the time O'Rourke declares that Democrats support gay marriage because it allows them to bring "domestic private life" under "domination," the joke is clear. The writer is spoofing the voice of a movement so drunk on self-righteousness it's slurring its words. He's taken Dinesh D'Souza's embarrassing little stunt of blaming every Obama administration policy on radical Kenyan anticolonialism and made it even dumber, blowing it out from self-parody into full-on parody: here is what happens if you take one simpleminded theory and apply it to anything, for cheap polemical effect, because all you care about is scoring points. You end up praising illegal immigrants as anti-Democratic Party insurgents who are evading the "legal monopoly on force." In the Weekly Standard, yet.
I love the new Business Insider sports page, but today it's got just a joke of an article, called "How To Save Baseball In 8 Easy Steps."
All eight of them are bad ideas, and there's a ninth bad one too- baseball doesn't need saving. Did you see the game last night? It was pretty great.
Relegation in baseball? It works in England because it's been in place for decades and decades. Nobody under the age of 70 has nostalgia for no playoffs. Interleague play has been a big success. And the "World Series must be played in 10 days or less?" There's seven games and two off-days- it IS always played in ten days or less.
Where are you Fire Joe Morgan?
Yes, the witch lady who didn't know what was in the First Amendment is distancing herself from Pam Geller.
The Phillies extended their playoff life Thursday night, beating the Giants 4-2 in San Francisco to bring the series back to Philadelphia. A few notes on the game:
- Full-fledged panic has been delayed at least one more day, because losing to a team in 5 games in which the leading offensive lights are Cody Ross and Aubrey Huff might've deleted all the good will the Phils have engendered in the last four years.
- Also over now- the stupid debate about whether or not Roy Halladay should've started Game 4 on short rest. If he had, the series would probably still be 3-2.
- The Phils' bats woke up a bit, with Raul Ibanez and Chase Utley actually getting hits. And with Oswalt and Hamels starting Games 6 and 7, with Lincecum done for the series, I expect the Phillies to win the pennant again.
- Some team is going to throw a ton of money at Cody Ross in the offseason, and he's going to make them look like idiots when he reverts to his usual mediocre self. I'm sure it'll be the Mets.
- Pete Rose was on Mike Missannelli's show Thursday afternoon. I just know Mike was dying to ask him whether he had money on the game.
- The singer of "God Bless America" was a performer from the long-running San Francisco stage show "Beach Blanket Babylon, and the woman's San Francisco-shaped hat was a subject of much derision for the Phillies bloggers on Twitter. I know the show because the guy who wrote it happens to have been named Steve Silver- here's a picture I took, from five years ago, of a bust of him.
I riff on the subject- with some Louis C.K. thrown in- in an E-Gear blog post.
So NPR has fired Juan Williams for commenting that he is afraid when he sees someone in "Muslim garb" on a plane. I guess it was an overreaction, but I don't feel especially bad for the guy, especially now that he's been, essentially, rewarded by Fox with a huge raise.
Williams a "Fox News liberal," along with Kirsten Powers and Alan Colmes- his job is to argue the "liberal" side, usually against two or three conservatives at once, and to concede about 60 percent of the argument to the other side on every issue. If he were actually a liberal no one on the right would be defending him- and he certainly wouldn't have gotten a multimillion dollar contract from Fox.
So if you say that all terrorists are Muslims (untrue), you're fine with Fox. If you blanketly conflate American Muslims with al Qaeda, as O'Reilly did on The View, you're a Fox star. And if you're a "liberal" hired by Fox to legitimize the bigotry of your paymasters and say it's legit to fear anyone wearing Muslim garb as a terrorist (also empirically ludicrous), you get a raise.And so is Dan Kennedy:
This is a political pre-election campaign to whip up anti-Muslim fears in order to smear even further the president, and now associate NPR with Islamist terror, and rally to defund it. And it is deeply counter to success in the war against Jihadism, by lumping every Muslim American and every non-Jihadist around the world with al Qaeda, exactly the way to lose this war in the long run, and not win it.
To me, Williams was clearly a victim of Rick Sanchez syndrome. That is, Williams was not an asset to NPR, and management was probably happy to stumble upon an excuse to get rid of him. Williams is a supremely uninteresting occasional commentator who will not be missed. What he said was offensive, but if he were a star he’d have been let off with a suspension and an apology.
In this four-second clip, Noah's got a lot to say!
Something Dan Savage started has been endorsed by the president of the United States. Could Santorum jokes be far behind?
It's Jews and Baseball: The Movie!With an All-Star cast including Sandy Koufax, Larry King and Kevin Youkilis. Righteous gentiles Ron Howard and Yogi Berra are in the film as well. Unfortunately, I think it was made too late for Danny Valencia to be included.
Great, great piece in the AV Club looking back at the acrimonious passing of the torch in the early '90s from Axl Rose to Kurt Cobain. Somehow I didn't know this story at all until now.
Andrew sits down with Charlie Rose on the occasion. Man, his beard is huge.
This "Monster Mash" video collects some of the worst horror movie clips ever:
What, no "The Room"?
Nate Silver says Pat Toomey's an almost certain victory, but the story is out there that Sestak is catching up. Which is good, and not only because this election in Pennsylvania has been one of the most boring in memory. There's both gubernatorial and senate races and, at least since the Sestak/Specter Democratic primary, not a single interesting thing had happened in either, while both Republicans were expected to win easily. Maybe it's because all four candidates are relatively boring, and of all the legitimately crazy people running this year, none of the four are among them.
David Poland has the last word:
Why is anyone SHOCKED by Lea Michelle in GQ? She was naked, having sex on stage, seats 15ft from her, 8 times a week in Spring AwakeningAnd I saw her do it too, although I had no idea who Lea Michele was then.
A few days ago, Brandeis University professor Anita Hill received a message on her voice mail at work.In 2030, Jenn Sterger will receive a similar call from Deanna Favre.
“Good morning, Anita Hill, it's Ginny Thomas,” said the voice. “I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day.”
Hill didn’t think the call was real.
“I initially thought it was a prank,” Hill told ABC News. “And if it was, I thought the authorities should know about it.”
She reported the call to campus police.
The worst executive in the history of team sports, hilariously using the phrase "football decisions":
Matt Millen probably played with 100 players who are now either dead or more or less vegetables. But we should totally listen to his superior football intellect on this and other matters.
They've sure come out with some bad ads over the years, as Gizmodo points out. But I liked Lauren the PC girl.
Unfortunately, the Twins aren't the Yankees, and they can't react to losing a playoff game to a dominant starting pitcher by simply stealing that pitcher away as soon as the season is over. But the Twins do have other choices.
The Royals are supposedly about to shop their all-world ace, and Buster Olney mentions the Twins as a possible suitor.
Hmm. The Twins need an ace starter badly, they can't afford Cliff Lee and Yu Darvish is staying in Japan. They wouldn't trade Aaron Hicks or their other top prospects for a half a year of Lee, but Greinke is signed for two more years at $27 million, which is a lot of money but only a few million more than the Twins would have to pay Carl Pavano.
As long as they don't trade Kyle Gibson, I'm all for it.
This is just shameful- though I suppose the "anti-lamestream media" campaign's logical extreme is to actually arrest and cuff journalists.
A C-SPAN panel of young conservatives goes wildly off the rails when a panelist hurls some bizarre charges at his copanelist/ex-girlfriend:
Does she really support legalizing assault so men fight each other more? Because that's just totally, totally nuts.
Iggles Blog on Andy Reid being a jerk and why it doesn't really matter:
We'll start with the disclaimer that no one really cares all that much how Andy Reid treats the press. I sometimes feel a degree of empathy for the guys in the room, because no one likes to be reminded of where they sit in the food chain of cashflows (and hey, work would be a treat if it wasn't for all those pesky customers, etc), but I'd far rather support a winning team with a coach who was a jerk to the press than a losing team led by a charming quote-merchant.That's a really common talk radio comment- "they should fire Andy Reid! He's so arrogant in press conferences!" Again, who cares?
And again, I don't want to hear that a Kolb/Vick quarterback controversy, in which both of them are playing very well, is "Andy Reid's worst nightmare." I'd imagine Andy's worst nightmare would be if he had NO good quarterbacks, as opposed to two.
Tom Scocca tees off on the New York Times' "Modern Love" column, calling it a "moral sewer." Makes me miss the great Veiled Conceit blog even more.
According to the Washington Post, a capella groups are now the "cool kids" on many college campuses. They sort of were back when I was at Brandeis, but that's Brandeis- in the land of no football players, a capella singers are king. Or something.
Craig Calcaterra, whose take on the "Philly fan thing" matches mine:
Their legitimate indignation at being tarred with the Santa Claus thing has led to a curious phenomenon: every time some fan does something stupid there, Philly fans get upset when anyone points it out, even if it happened yesterday. “Yeah, sure, go ahead and say that Philly fans are obnoxious. Feel free to stereotype us. How original,” they huff, rolling their eyes. We saw this when the guy puked on that girl earlier this year. We saw it when the guy got tased. We saw it the very next night when the copycat guy jumped on the field. Point out some dumb Philly fan behavior and other Philly fans immediately play the “we’re being persecuted” card.In order words, "they pick on us whenever there's an incident!," even though incidents seem to happen every week.
But you know what? Even if they don’t deserve the reputation for being awful that so many have applied to them, there is a certain brand of Philly fan that is obnoxious. Not all, of course, and not even a large number. But a subset that is unique to Philly in their poor taste and boorishness. And hey, here are some of them now!
A New York curiosity is now a national obsession:
McMillan, the gubernatorial candidate, was under fire a few years ago for some anti-Semitic comments- apparently, the party has a history of blaming Jewish landlords for the rent being too damn high. But he did apologize during the debate for those comments. And no, he's not nearly as crazy as the Republican candidate.
Noah's newest blog post is up here.
My review of "It's Kind of a Funny Story" is online at Philly.com.
With the Giants playing the Phillies in the NLCS, "Tim Lincecum Looks like the 'Dazed & Confused' Guy" meme has gone big-time this week- the Wall Street Journal's sports blog even tracked down Wiley Wiggins himself for an interview.
I have expected Ben Affleck to come out and paddle Lincecum as soon as the game was over. Which isn't to say that someone in the crowd didn't do just that...
Maureen Dowd attacking the Mama Grizzlies:
Whether they’re mistreating the help or belittling the president’s manhood, making snide comments about a rival’s hair or ripping an opponent for spending money on a men’s fashion show, the Mean Girls have replaced Hope with Spite and Cool with Cold. They are the ideal nihilistic cheerleaders for an angry electorate.Not that I have any interest in defending Sarah Palin or Christine O'Donnell, but what hypocritical nonsense that is. Isn't Dowd the woman who coined the phrase "Obambi," calls all Democratic politicians girls and has been at the forefront of putting stupid, inconsequential bullshit at the forefront of political analysis? Maureen Dowd criticizes the "mean girls" approach to politics- she INVENTED the "mean girls" approach to politics.
Fewer genres are more fun than "picking holes in a movie we've all seen a thousand times." Here, Cracked does it with "Big." A real tour de force.
A man named Jack Ass sued MTV for $10 million, claiming the series was plagiarizing his name. Jack Ass, formerly known as Bob Craft, changed his name in 1997 to raise awareness for drunk driving.
Really enjoyed the new movie. Review should be up next week.
I have trouble taking a side here. O'Reilly is wrong, of course, but it's hard to imagine two less effective spokespeople for the liberal cause than Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar.
Yikes. It was the exact same thing that always happens in every game of every Twins-Yankees series- underdogs get out to early lead, always erased late by the Yanks, just in time for Rivera to arrive. So watch the Rangers get crushed in this series, followed by the Yankees taking Cliff Lee from them. Baseball, everybody!
Simmons tells the story of the accidental tweet a couple of weeks ago, which led to him accidentally breaking the news of the Randy Moss trade on Twitter. Fascinating stuff about how sports media culture works these days.
This week's "South Park," which destroyed "Jersey Shore" and "Real Housewives of New Jersey" while parodying "Teen Wolf" and "Red Dawn," was the hardest I've laughed at the show in several years. Although if there were a New Jersey Anti-Defamation League, they'd be picketing Comedy Central right about now.
The Phils' skipper, a big Ric Flair fan it appears:
Are any two mens' styles more different than Charlie and the Nature Boy, aside from both having white hair? If the Phils have another parade Charlie, instead of wearing a tailored suit like last time, should come out in one of Ric's old robes.
You're going to spend at least 30 minutes on this list, by Joe Posnanski, of the 32 greatest play-by-play calls in sports history. He's right about #1, but "the band is out on the field!" has to go second.
Oh, who cares?
These stories are so stupid. Of course they're related five or six generations back- isn't everybody? If it turns out they were long-lost first cousins or something that would be newsworthy.
We have a new best "30 For 30" film. Sure, like most of the "30 For 30" docs, the story was already told in an SI piece. But it was damn fascinating the way the story was told against the backdrop of the war in the Balkans- and who knew Vlade Divac was such an engaging protagonist? The last half hour was especially moving.
Eh. Sure, it's good to see all that footage again. But it seemed like 95 percent of the four hours was taken up by either the Yankees, Red Sox, or steroids. Every Yankees-involved World Series got 20 minutes and a full play-by-play, while every other postseason of the last decade got a few seconds tops.
And why so much Mike Barnacle? I mean, not only did he plagiarize and fabricate, but he's not even a sportswriter! There wasn't someone else more qualified to talk about the Red Sox?
Yes, the Twins season ended in disappointing fashion. But there were a few things that happened this year that were great. Such as:
- Target Field opened, and is as awesome as a new ballpark can possibly be. And the total number of rainouts? One.
- Francisco Liriano emerged as a #1 starter. Not good enough to beat Sabathia, but...
- The Jim Thome SI cover, one of the ten best ever.
- The Craig Finn song, which if there's any justice will be played at Target Field for years to come.
Will next year be any different? Well, they're going to beat the Yankees someday. I hope.
Ouch. Like the sex scandal, the nagging injuries and the game-losing interception Monday night weren't embarrassing enough.
I review the controversial education policy documentary "Waiting For 'Superman'" on Philly.com.
The brilliant sitcom "Community" last week featured a subplot, entirely in the background of various scenes, of Abed helping a pregnant woman and eventually delivering the baby.
The best part of all? Alison Brie remained in the foreground.
Jeffrey Goldberg on the latest wacky claims from Pam Geller:
A Martian takeover of New Jersey is more likely than the imposition of a caliphate, or of Muslim law, on America, for any number of reasons, including: One percent of America's population is Muslim; within this one percent, a vanishingly small minority believes in the ideology of al-Qaeda, which propogates the idea of the restoration of the caliphate; a much greater percentage of American Muslims believes in interfaith dialogue (I know this from personal experience, having been invited to countless interfaith dialogue groups). Only a true paranoid could look at America as it is today and see the creeping takeover of Islamist caliphate ideology.
Lifehacker has the story about the Wi-Fi network that never, ever works.
Digby calls Rand Paul "Baby Doc Paul." That's brilliant- I guess Ron Paul is "Papa Doc"- and it would be even more brilliant if Rand Paul were an OB/GYN instead of an opthamologist.
This team seemed different, and this felt like the year, it really did. But nope, they still couldn't get past the Yankees, and were swept out in the first round once again. The numbers are all ugly- they've lost 11 straight playoff games, five straight series, and haven't won in the playoffs since 2002, when among current players only Michael Cuddyer was on the team.
All I can say is, the Brooklyn Dodgers couldn't beat the Yankees for decades, until they finally did in 1955. The Red Sox lost huge games and pennant races to them for most of the 20th century, until in 2004, they finally did it. Someday the Twins will do the same- just hope it won't be too long.
My son talks about seeing Roy Halladay's no-hitter, and going on his first hayride, in his newest blog post.
The first and still the best, and the man who inspired the creation of this blog- Andrew Sullivan celebrates ten years of blogging at the Daily Dish. I was reading him back when Clinton was president- and Sully was actually a conservative.
The New York Times profiles Garrison Keillor and his longtime love for the Twins. Really? This is sort of like Prince last year with the Vikings- Keillor's been one of the most famous Minnesotans for decades, yet I've never seen him at a game, never seen him write anything about the team, or ever heard of him in any way being associated with them.
If Bob Dylan starts showing up at Wild games, or Thomas Friedman starts dropping Timberwolves references into columns about peak oil, this will officially be out of hand.
Great. As if non-Vikings fans didn't hate the guy enough before. Though I'm not really sure how this went, overnight, from a goofy blog story that only Deadspin readers knew about to something being investigated by the league office and discussed on every pregame show.
Anyway, get ready for a December suspension that ends his career and gives us Tarvaris Time in crunch time. You know how Roger Clemens took forever to decide whether to retire, and stuck around just long enough that total off-the-field disgrace ended up finally geeting him out of the game? Same with Favre, it appears.
I'm in Dallas on a business trip- staying at the very hotel that the Daily Show mocked the Mortgage Bankers Association for staying at last week- and just for shits and giggles I checked StubHub to see if tickets to Game 4 of the Rangers series were available. Yep. For $6 and $7. Like, by the dozen. Add a zero to those numbers and you've got the likely price of the next Phillies home game. Alas, I landed too late to go.
How in the world can the liberal New York Times write about that nutjob Pam Geller and treat her so nicely? She is the moral equivalent of the Klan, and I don't remember the last Klan leader to get such favorite NYT treatement. Jeffrey Goldberg, calling her "an embarrassment to Judaism, is right:
Really, how did American Judaism produce this vile, racist creature? I wait for the same rabbis who condemned the racism of Meir Kahane to condemn her.
Moves to the Onion.
Sunday, Donovan led the Redskins to an overtime victory and threw for 357 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown that, no, didn't hit the ground.
So let me get this straight: In the new movie "Life As We Know It," the parents of a small child both die and leave the child to the godfather and godmother, who hate each other, but then of course fall in love. Who plays the mom who dies at the beginning? Christina Hendricks. Who plays the romantic lead who inherits the baby? Katherine Heigl.
I know men aren't the target audience for this sort of movie, but if the roles were reversed, and it was Heigl who died at the beginning, and Hendricks who played the lead, and every other thing about the movie was exactly the same, wouldn't you want to go see it more? I know I would...
Tuesday night, after five years as a fan, I finally saw The Hold Steady live, and it was certainly worth the wait. Much as I love their albums, the songs all sound about three times better live- I don't think I've ever been to a more high-energy show, Springsteen excepted.
There's no just no frontman like Craig Finn- he's a late-30s, schlubby Midwestern guy with glasses who dances like a goofy white dude. And indeed, the crowd, including me, was comprised largely of guys who look like Craig Finn. The band scattered stuff from all five albums, but I've gotta say the "Separation Sunday" stuff sounded best, especially "Stevie Nix," "Chicago Seemed So Tired Last Night" and (especially) "How a Resurrection Really Feels," which closed the show.
No, Finn didn't wear a Twins jersey (I did, as did a few other people) or sing "Please Don't Call Them Twinkies," although he did say "I'm a Twins fan, but I think both our teams had a constructive summer," before diving into the song of that name. Here's a podcast interview with Finn on Big League Stew.
And speaking of baseball, a guy in a Phillies jersey rushed the stage, after crowd-surfing, and was tackled and ushered off. Thankfully, it was during a long guitar solo and he was on the opposite end of the stage from Tad Kubler, so the show wasn't disturbed. My guess? The guy was planning to do the same thing at the Phillies game but couldn't get tickets, so did it at the show instead.
It was also great to make my first visit to the Trocadero, where one of the favorite albums of my childhood, Tesla's "Five Man Acoustical Jam," was recorded.
So if you haven't seen the Hold Steady, I highly recommend it. Here's them doing "Stuck Between Stations" on Letterman a couple years ago:
Well, that sucked. It was really a microcosm of all the Twins' postseason failures of recent years. Get out to huge lead, blow it, make mental mistakes, be unable to hit Mariano Rivera. And they were SO CLOSE to winning the Sabathia game. Damn. Game 2's looking pretty must-win tonight, I'd say.
I like Gregor the DirecTV Guy ("I likes to saves the money!") He's like a younger, Russian Mafia version of The Most Interesting Man in the World.
The worst? "That's Logistics!" You know what? "Logistics" doesn't rhyme with "Amore."
As for Conan, if their goal was to get everyone to hate Conan, the blimp was a wonderful idea.
News Item: "The Wire" version of Monopoly released
My favorite spot is definitely "Omar's Coming: Lose $10,000"
News Item: Lou Dobbs hired illegal immigrants
Dobbs turned out to be a loathsome fraud? Who in the world saw that one coming?
It's good to see embarrassing things happening to CNN's most despicable current and former personalities- Rick Sanchez, Dobbs, etc. When will it be Nancy Grace's turn? When will it be Fox's?
Eliot Spitzer confronts Dinesh D'Souza. I really don't think D'Souza believes a word of that bullshit. I mean, every part of it is wrong. Obama doesn't have "rage." In fact, he's been criticized for not having rage. He isn't trying to live up to the politics of his father, who he barely knew and deeply resented. And what's so bad about being anti-colonial? Isn't that what the Revolutionary War was about?
A female caller to a Tampa station trumps every Philadelphia caller in the past five years:
A woman called into a sports radio show down in Tampa and opined that the Rays chose to go with James Shields in Game 2 of the ALDS "because he is a Jewish person." The caller -- Linda, who claimed to be a Quaker "and has many Jewish friends" -- thinks that "he's not a very good pitcher" and that Joe Maddon felt pressure from the team's "Jewish ownership" to start Shields over Matt Garza.Shields, alas, is not Jewish at all. I like Craig's hypothesis.
From Drew Magary's Deadspin Funbag this week:
I'd love to one day join one of those giant fucking mega sports clubs that has an indoor track and squash courts and a pool and all that shit. I'd never use any of that stuff, mind you. But I went to a club like this once in Minnesota and they had a frozen yogurt bar inside the club, so that you could work out and then, after you were done, eat your weight in frozen yogurt and Butterfinger topping. And you could sit and eat and look at all the attractive women walking around in their workout clothes. This was crazy awesome and I demand all gyms have a comparable snack and ogling bar.I know exactly the club- it's Northwest, the gym I grew up going to. Back then I thought it was normal for gyms to have frozen yogurt bars; something I've never seen in any other gym I've ever been to.
What was that I heard about Roy Halladay being "untested" in the postseason? In his first career playoff start today, Halladay threw a no-hitter against the Reds, for just the second postseason no-hitter in baseball history, the first since Don Larsen's 1956 perfect game.
Noah was luckily awake for it and we got to watch the 9th inning together, the first of many father-son baseball moments to come (he was fast asleep, and only four months old, for the Halladay perfect game in May.) Yes, the first postseason game of his life was a no-hitter, and Halladay's thrown two in his brief lifetime.
Matt Taibbi tees off on the Tea Party. My favorite part:
After lengthy study of the phenomenon, I've concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They're full of shit. All of them. At the voter level, the Tea Party is a movement that purports to be furious about government spending — only the reality is that the vast majority of its members are former Bush supporters who yawned through two terms of record deficits and spent the past two electoral cycles frothing not about spending but about John Kerry's medals and Barack Obama's Sixties associations. The average Tea Partier is sincerely against government spending — with the exception of the money spent on them
Because I'm glad I don't work for Tribune Co. My lord. I mean, they pretty much made sexual harassment official policy! Don't the gods of HR frown on that?
No wonder the Cubs didn't win for 100 years...
I only like about one McSweeney's piece out of ten, but man, this was funny. And yes, I know it's a year old.
Wow. My question is, what kind of idiot "spends all morning" working on a Facebook post? I can imagine a speech, but a Facebook post? They usually take me, oh, 5-10 seconds.
The Northern New Jersey Jewish newspaper published, for the first time a few weeks ago, a wedding announcement for a gay male couple. In their next issue, they published this as an editorial:
We set off a firestorm last week by publishing a same-sex couple’s announcement of their intent to marry. Given the tenor of the times, we did not expect the volume of comments we have received, many of them against our decision to run the announcement, but many supportive as well.Pretty disgusting. And if you read the comments to the linked article, you can see most of the readers see how gutless it was. My guess? The "traditional" types came to the newspaper and essentially said they'd have no further support for them- no ads, no cooperate, whatever- unless they got an apology and retraction, something that would've left the paper no longer economically viable. Not an excuse; just my theory as to what happened.
A group of rabbis has reached out to us and conveyed the deep sensitivities within the traditional/Orthodox community to this issue. Our subsequent discussions with representatives from that community have made us aware that publication of the announcement caused pain and consternation, and we apologize for any pain we may have caused.
The Jewish Standard has always striven to draw the community together, rather than drive its many segments apart. We have decided, therefore, since this is such a divisive issue, not to run such announcements in the future.
Meanwhile, the notion that the publication of an announcement that two people are getting married would cause anyone "pain," on the other hand, is pretty vile in and of itself.
The shocking news broke tonight that the Vikings are on the verge of re-acquiring perhaps the most controversial player in team history, Randy Moss, from New England.
This is a good idea because it gives the Vikes another receiver, who Brett Favre has always wanted to play with, while giving one of the team's all time greats a chance to finish his career where it started. It's the team going all-in to win a championship- and along with it, a new stadium and survival in Minnesota- this year. As for Moss' troublemaking tendencies, he has managed to keep his nose clean for five years or so. It's a different owner, GM and coach from when Moss left six years ago.
This is a bad idea because it's an old team getting older, Moss this year has made it look like he's past his prime, a team likely to need rebuilding soon shouldn't be trading draft picks, and there's always a chance returning to town will get Randy back into bad habits. I wouldn't want to be a traffic cop in Minneapolis.
The verdict? I'm for it.
The best part? The story was broken by Bill Simmons... accidentally, with a direct message on Twitter that was accidentally sent out as a tweet. The whole story is quite entertaining, as well as the great Twitter hashtag #sportsguyDMs. (I followed all of this in a 90-minute period when I was waiting for the Hold Steady concert to start.)
I'd like to thank Fox9's Sports on Demand for showing the footage of Jason Kubel's Grand Slam at Yankee Stadium, my favorite moment of the baseball season, which happened to take place during Noah's bris:
I didn't get to this until now, but it's really sort of brilliant.
I'm finally going to see my first-ever Hold Steady show tonight. I'll be wearing a Twins shirt (though not this one), and this should be the perfect warmup for the start of the playoffs. In the meantime, I'll struggle to avoid spending the whole day on the Hold Steady Wiki.
My first Week in Electronics Retail Crime in awhile is up at Dealerscope.com.
Despite the involvement of Tottenham Hotspur, this environmental "film" -from the creator of "Four Weddings and a Funeral"- is pretty damn horrifying, and isn't going to convince anyone of anything:
Exploding children! Yea!
Christine O'Donnell puts a spell on you:
If I lived in Delaware, I'd tend to lean toward the candidate in which whether or not they're a witch isn't an issue in the campaign.
Mike Tanier, author of that great, great McNabb article a few weeks ago, on the McNabb ovation:
What I learned today was that the fans who actually go to games are different from the fans who call radio shows, post on the fan blogs, and complain around the water cooler. The ticket-holder fans invests thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours in the home team. These fans experience real joy -- lifestyle-defining, family-and-friends, life-enriching pleasure -- when the home team is playing well and every Sunday has a celebration quality. These fans "get it:" all the tough-guy talk about "one winner and 31 losers" is neither realistic nor fulfilling... Real fans still love the Sundays, love the games, and love the players, and they don't let the loudmouths convince them not to. Thank heavens.That's from Football Outsiders' weekly, unmissable "Audibles at the Line" column, which is in-game emailed observations from that site's contributors.
Meanwhile, in the other universe, Angelo Cataldi this morning ranted that the "national media" owes Philadelphia an apology for saying that the fans would boo McNabb upon his introduction, when they in fact cheered him. Yes, this Angelo Cataldi:
Outside the Linc, there were pockets of protest, particularly the "boo parade" organized by WIP radio personality Angelo Cataldi — the same man who put together the 1999 draft day boofest in New York when McNabb was selected instead of Ricky Williams. About 35 people, including two men on stilts, a juggler and one dressed as a clown walked to the Spectrum next door while voicing their displeasure with the quarterback they dubbed "Dontovan."We booed! How dare they say we'd boo!
Itchy and Scratchy parody the "Married Life" montage from "Up":
Jay Cutler, in Sunday night's game, scored -2.5 fantasy points, which for a quarterback is practically impossible. In order go to into negative points, a QB has to 1) throw multiple interceptions, 2) not throw for any touchdowns or for very many yards and 3) Leave the game early. Cutler managed all three. Usually, even a few completions will get a quarterback out of negative territory. Compared to him, Kevin Kolb had a Hall of Fame day.
My opponent had Cutler, so I won this week. The last time the quarterback in a game I was involved in got negative fantasy points was Daunte Culpepper during the 2005 season, during the depths of the Mike Tice era. The Bears' current offensive line coach, as the team gave up nine sacks Sunday night? You guessed it, Mike Tice.
It's almost baseball time on TBS, so get ready to see this about a billion times:
Better him than Caliendo...
At some point in the second half of today's Eagles-Redskins game, when Donovan McNabb threw an incompletion that hit the ground, one of my Eagle-fan Facebook friends posted "There's the McNabb we all know!"
"Which one," I wrote back, "the one who's winning?"
And that's what happened Sunday- McNabb came back into the Linc with Washington and beat the Eagles. Sure, Donovan didn't have a great second half, and the 'Skins ran the ball a hell of a lot more than the Eagles ever did, but Donovan got a measure of revenge, as both teams are now 2-2.
Not to mention, after a week of huge hype, Michael Vick went out with a ribs/collarbone injury that may knock him out for weeks, while Kevin Kolb looked atrocious once again, putting together an even worse crunch time drive than Donovan ever did.
At least Donovan was cheered as he was introduced before the game, showing once again that the sports radio idiots represent a small, small percentage of the Eagles fanbase.
The two teams will square off in the first round once again, for the fourth time in the last decade. The Yanks won the first three, but the Twins have home field advantage this time, and the Yankees are looking a bit less dominant this year than in the past.
It starts Wednesday at 8:37. Can't wait.
The Horrible Thing McNabb did was losing a few big games, acting aloof and not in touch with the fan base, and failing to win a Super Bowl while with the Eagles. The Horrible Thing Vick did was run an interstate dogfighting ring and personally murder several dogs. Right now, considerable parts of the Eagles fan base are considerably more willing to forgive Vick for his Horrible Thing than McNabb for his.
I review "Never Let Me Go," which I disliked intensely, on Philly.com.
So, as I predicted Rick Sanchez's "Stewart is a bigot/Jews control the networks" rant led to his firing. Can't say I have any sympathy for him whatsoever; not only was what he said totally wrong, but the guy had a stupid job and wasn't good at it.
Funny, the one week I visit Atlanta and see the CNN headquarters, CNN President Jonathan Klein gets fired, and then a week later, Sanchez gets whacked. I got my son a stuffed dog- a "news hound"- at the CNN gift shop and I'm convinced the hound would be better at both Klein and Sanchez's jobs than they were.
Also, as someone on Twitter pointed out, if a Tea Party candidate had said exactly what Sanchez did, it would've had no repercussions whatsoever- in fact, any media members criticizing that candidate would've been attacked as elitist.
Attention, Nancy Grace: If you have anything about the Jews you'd like to get off your chest, by all means- fire away. Please. I insist.
The wife and I watched "Love Happens" Saturday which, as the HBO description says, tells the story of "a widowed self-help guru and a wounded florist find love when they least expect it."
For some reason, the phrase "wounded florist" just slayed me, and making "wounded florist" jokes all throughout the movie was about the only thing that made it bearable. Sure, there was some affecting stuff involving Aaron Eckhardt getting over his wife's death, but that was followed immediately by an elaborate sequence involving the kidnapping of a parrot. Aniston, meanwhile, was woefully miscast- when I hear "bohemian chick who dates musicians and drives a van that looks like it was borrowed from Shaggy and Scooby," my first thought is totally "Jennifer Aniston."
By the way, if you Google the phrase "wounded florist," all of the top 15 results refer to this movie, with the exception of the Amazon page for another movie, 1996's "Bed of Roses," in which "Christian Slater is a soulful, wounded florist who's looking for a second chance at love."
By contrast, in the movie "The Town" Pete Postlethwaite plays a florist who has likely wounded many, many people.
Johnny Goodtimes on the Donovan return:
The Phillies win didn’t change many people’s outlook, and numerous fans are bitter that the Birds still haven’t paraded on Broad. Many of these fans, for some reason I cannot quite ascertain, feel that this is something they are owed. Therefore, McNabb essentially took money out of their pockets. He robbed them of their birthright! They spent money on the jersey, they spent money on the seats and $8 hot dogs, and they have stuck by this team through thick and thin. Now give them their damn championship! They’ve earned it!Johnny, like me, is a non-Philly native; that probably has something to do with our feeling the same away about this.
While their loyalty is admirable, their belief that they are owed a championship is borderline insane. McNabb no more owed this city a championship than LaDainian Tomlinson owed San Diego a Super Bowl. And yet I am quite confident that if Tomlinson returns to San Diego, he will be treated as a returning hero, not as a villain... the Patriots didn’t beat the Eagles in that Super Bowl. The Eagles lost that Super Bowl. The Buccaneers didn’t win that NFC Championship game, the Eagles lost it. And why did they lose it? Because McNabb didn’t want it bad enough. Just look at the evidence! He smiles too much, and he doesn’t behave like a petulant child when he loses, so that must mean that he doesn’t give a shit! Appearing to not give a shit is a crime in this town when it comes to sports. It is a lesson McNabb never learned. He will certainly learn it on Sunday, when Eagle Nation boos him mercilessly.
Incidentally, I hope everyone associated with this is as ashamed of themselves as they should be:
Kevin Drum, in a very perceptive essay on the Teabaggers:
Ever since the 1930s, something very much like the tea party movement has fluoresced every time a Democrat wins the presidency, and the nature of the fluorescence always follows many of the same broad contours: a reverence for the Constitution, a supposedly spontaneous uprising of formerly nonpolitical middle-class activists, a preoccupation with socialism and the expanding tyranny of big government, a bitterness toward an underclass viewed as unwilling to work, and a weakness for outlandish conspiracy theories.
Here's a WIP website story about Cataldi's embarrassing plans on Sunday to "protest" the return of McNabb. Then read the comments. I've never been so proud of my adopted hometown.
The loathsome CNN anchor- whose primary talent seems to be reading tweets live on the air, had this to say:
The conversation began with Sanchez decrying "elite, Northeast establishment liberals" who "deep down, when they look at a guy like me, they see a guy automatically who belongs in the second tier, and not the top tier.The most ridiculous part- Sanchez saying they consider him "second tier"- ha. He's about tenth tier, at that. Then there's this:
"I think to some extent Jon Stewart and [Stephen] Colbert are the same way. I think Jon Stewart's a bigot," he said. "I think he looks at the world through, his mom, who was a school teacher, and his dad, who was a physicist or something like that. Great, I'm so happy that he grew up in a suburban middle class New Jersey home with everything you could ever imagine." When asked who Stewart is bigoted against, Sanchez said "everybody else who's not like him."
Very powerless people... [snickers] He's such a minority, I mean, you know [sarcastically]... Please, what are you kidding? ... I'm telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they — the people in this country who are Jewish — are an oppressed minority? Yeah. [sarcastically]Aside from the anti-Semitism and the bullshit, "you don't come from my background so you suck" populism, Sanchez is just wrong- his definition of "bigot" appears to be "person who is vocally critical of their political opponents."
"The Daily Show" doesn't pick on Sanchez because he's Hispanic. It picks on him because he's a horrible TV anchor who talks almost exclusively about inconsequential bullshit, and does it badly. Can't wait for Stewart to tee off on him Monday- it'll make the Tucker Carlson smackdown look like nothing.
My review of "The Social Network" is online, this time on my E-Gear blog.
Let me put this as bluntly as I can: any Eagles fan who boos Donovan McNabb Sunday should be totally ashamed of themselves. In doing so, they will be doing all they can to confirm every negative stereotype about Philadelphia sports fans.
He's the man who's more responsible than anyone for the longest sustained period of success in Eagles history. And I really think more Philly fans than not realize this, and he'll be more cheered than booed. But the booing will be noticed more, because boos are louder than cheers.
Angelo Cataldi, a talk-show personality and the leader of the so-called "Dirty 30" — the 30 hardcore Eagles fans who led the boos at Madison Square Garden when the Eagles drafted the Syracuse star over Texas running back Ricky Williams — has organized a "Boo McNabb" parade featuring sign-carrying boo birds, a juggler, some strippers, and a guy on stilts. It remains to be seen if any of them will actually make it to Lincoln Financial Field for the game.Always strippers, with those idiots. If you see these guys at the game, shun them. One Wing Bowl per year is enough.
And you know what else? Can we please not pretend that Sunday's game is a referendum on whether or not McNabb is a good quarterback, or whether the Eagles were right to get rid of him? Chances are Donovan will play the Eagles a bunch of more times before he retires.
I'm finally caught up on the first two episodes, and I think I like it. Great, great, great style, interesting plot, and I love the mixture of historical and fictional characters. Like Buscemi as a leading man, although my favorite part of the show is Michael Stuhlbarg- from "A Serious Man"- as Arnold Rothstein.
In fact, the cast is full of Coen Brothers veterans- Buscemi's been in several of their movies, as was Stuhlbarg, and Kelly MacDonald was Josh Brolin's wife in "No Country For Old Men." I hope this leads, in Season 2, to either the Coens guest-directing an episode, or John Turturro and/or John Goodman joining the cast.
And speaking of the Coens, when they showed Nucky having sex with his mistress, I half-expected a tall Indian to charge in and throw Buscemi across the room.
Speaking of which, how'd I not hear about this until now?
Couldn't possibly be as embarrassing as his "Sex and the City" stint.
The new "Herminator" segment- featuring Herm Edwards doing the most half-hearted Schwarzenegger impression of all time- is a strong contender:
I'd really love to speak to whoever thought this was a good idea.
Man at ballgame catches ball while holding a baby:
Now if the BABY had caught the ball, that REALLY would've been impressive...
I've been critical of "30 For 30" lately, but man did they hit it out of the park with this week's, "Into the Wind." Not being Canadian I didn't know the Terry Fox story at all, but that was pretty incredible. I recommend everyone check it out this weekend.
Speaking of sports docs, I didn't see "The Tenth Inning" yet, although I agree with the person on Twitter who said "Fifty years on, our grandkids will watch #TheTenthInning and say,' 'I can't believe those assholes cared so much about steroids.'"
"As it happens, the Republican and Democratic parties are not really movements or even political terms that represent a fully coherent set of ideas. They are mostly marketing tools, brands, bundles of cultural signifiers, meant to communicate a vague set of values, inspire a sense of personal identification, and manipulate voters into acting in the interests of a coalition of pressure groups that may or may not have much to do with the advertised values of the partisan brand. The interests of the National Education Association do not coincide with the interests of the neglected and ill-educated poor, but that doesn't stop people who care intensely about the interests of the poor from voting again and again for Democrats. Likewise, the interests of the vast national-security-industrial complex do not coincide with the interests of those who love liberty, yet that does not stop self-proclaimed liberty-lovers from favouring Republicans at the polls.