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Apparently—I Love NY!

May 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Having just realized I rarely say anything about the sports media people I like, I hope to remedy that a bit here. One reason I neg out a lot is, the guys who provoke me seem do it when I’m nearest to a keyboard. The other is I’m bitter. Here are thumbnail mentions of a few who just happen to be from the NYC metro area. How’d that happen!

Michael Kay, who began his pro career as a sportswriter, currently straddles two media giants. One owns the New York Yankees, the other takes cheap shots. Long before the NYY launched the YES Network (Yankees Entertainment & Sports), Kay made the move from print to the broadcast booth, paired with legendary egoist John Sterling. I thought Kay was great—at a time when the beloved pair of Phil Rizzuto & Bill White (my former neighbor) were ending their run, Kay was a breath of fresh & knowledgeable air. Yankee brass agreed. Now he anchors the YES play by play team & does a daily afternoon drive radio show for ESPN’s New York affiliate. AND I like him a lot. Joe Torre, on the other hand, may not. That’s another story.

Howard Megdal is a regular & integral contributor to a podcast—The New York Baseball Digest (hosted by Mike Silva). He’s also an author The Baseball Talmud— a non-fiction work which chronicles the history of professional Jewish baseball players. However, his main gig is covering NYC baseball for a newspaper The New York Observer. Though an ardent Mets fan, his sharp wit & ability to extemporaneously turn a phrase on mic, make him a rare exception in the sports media—intelligent beyond the sports arena. I used to be pretty good at this: I’d place his IQ at 130, if not slightly higher. He’s one of the few I can actually listen to criticize the Yankees, typically because he’s right. His Achilles’ heel is WFAN megastar Mike Francesa—don’t get him started. . ..

The next man I have come to praise (and not bury) is another sportswriter & blogger Pete Abraham. His LoHud.com Yankees blog has so many hits each day, I can rarely leave a comment due to my slow dial up—because there are frequently too many other comments, often well over 300-400, sometimes many more! Pete is the Yankees beat writer for The Journal News & also makes many radio appearances, providing his insight to Yankee baseball. Even when he’s on a break, he often files a post, because he loves baseball. Sadly, the immense popularity of his blog doesn’t exclude him from the current economic downward trend in newspapers, and he’s actually on an unpaid furlough for a week! Sigh. BTW Pete was at the game anyway last night as a fan. Here’s hoping it all turns around for everybody. Except for Boston — I ain’t smoking any of Mary Lou’s bud.

Not in any way would I minimize the work, talent & efforts of the next two. I place them in tandem because Sweeny Murti & Ed Coleman cover the Yankees & Mets respectively, for WFAN AM New York, the King of sports talk radio. They are both routinely on air around the clock, doing phone reporting i.e. Sweeny was on today at 4:25 AM. Are the Yanks on the West Coast? did a game run extraordinarily late or something extremely awful happen? Nope—though Joba Chamberlain did take a batted ball off a kneecap (he’s OK—hmmmm). Sweeny is also very bright (Penn State grad). Mercifully(?) the Mets were on a travel day to Feng Shui Park for the weekend ugh, unless you like hubris with your chowdah. So, Eddie had a respite from the Mets woes.

See, I can say nice stuff. Especially when it’s true. Yankees v. Phillies this weekend, should be balls flying out of new Yankee Stadium. While I am naturally rooting for the Yanks to win more than they lose, I have a soft spot for the Phils from my 20 years of living & working in Bucks County PA.

Oh yeah — Lets GO METS!


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Aks me no questions. . ..

May 21, 2009 Leave a comment

I’m well aware most of you @#%&*! jock sniffing morons, who somehow were hired to be professional media announcers only made it to sixth grade. So, one more time:

If a proper name ends in the letter s i.e. Phil Hughes and you need to make it a possessive, as in— Phil Hughes’ next start—that is how it is enunciated. Don’t add another s. Not only is it unnecessary, it creates sibilance, which is bad for audio, most importantly as spoken, it’s AWKWARD sounding. BTW no doubt you were asleep, dreaming of showering with the football team that day in class, because they teach that rule by sixth grade. Pete Rose’s name only sounds as if it ends with s. You’re on your own with Rodriguez, Gomez, Martinez & Aziz et al. That ain’t English.

Note to major know it all Colin Cowherd–the word is pictorial. Not pictoral.* As for some audience members who call in radio programs—how do you exist at least twenty plus years in a country where English is the primary language, and mispronounce the word ask? Laughable and depressing at the same time. Audio-verbal dyslexia—the new epidemic.

OK— recess you dumbasses. Go enjoy some repressed homosexuality. Don’t aks

* next time I heard that particular promo, the pronunciation had been corrected—incroyablé!

The Artless Dodger…

May 8, 2009 2 comments

It seems Manny being Manny was aided and abetted by performance enhancing substances†[please see below]. All those clutch, drop the Yankees hits while with the Boston team, were bullshit. Now, while that city and its players enjoy the rewards their envy and hypocrisy continue to provide them, they need to admit they are phonies. If they can hate on and gloss the NYY as the evil empire, riddled with cheaters, then they themselves are surely the Weasel World of sports. Yankees suck? you m*****r f****rs suck and blow.

I have been watching, and for a short youthful period, playing baseball since 1956. I steeped myself in the game via what media was available then— TV, radio, books, magazines and baseball cards. It never seemed enough—sure baseball was talked year round—with friends. Nothing like the current media, carpet bombing 24 hours a day, seven days a week; pervasive and invasive coverage. Really, it’s too much. It encourages excesses and it gets them. From everyone involved.

Too much and yet the magpies who pass for talk show hosts on all sports radio outlets, discrete team owned tv, and networks like ESPN & Fox, turned a sycophantic blind eye to some tried and true practices. Amphetamines before games and shopping trips after—lining up groupies for stars. AND the last 20 plus seasons of slowly unfolding revelations of anabolic steroids and human growth hormones (HGH)usage by the big names of the big leagues.

It has resulted in the breeding of hack writers such as Selena Roberts (Sports Illustrated) who indicted the Duke Lacrosse team for party fouls at the rapist level before they were found NOT guilty*, to her present exposé book of Alex Rodriguez. These jock sniffing carrion eaters turn on you faster than a whirling dervish and they care not a whit if they are subsequently off the mark. The bullshit “court of public opinion” is the demographic they court. The lowest common denominator, once the exclusive stained and chawn turf of the National Enquirer, a newspaper no self respecting journalist would’ve been employed by when I was in J school, is catered to via sensationalism passing for reporting and writing.

It has also grown the barely literate radio talk host, most of whom have never read a book. If they have, it was about sports and no doubt, at the level of a fifth grader. Video games began cutting into the sports dollar heavily during the eighties and in some cases supplanted it for youth recreational time and bucks. The spawn of gamers are the announcers of today’s media. Dumb as rocks without the charm and personality. The majority of athletes, even less so. Easy to see how in this environment a clownish thug such as Manny Ramirez can thrive and pull the double-knit polyfiber over the eyes (and the limited intellect within their heads) of the feral media. One moment they are sucking up, the next, sucking the life out of their prey—the superstar, over paid and undereducated.

Major league baseball itself is led by a septuagenarian former team owner and used car salesman. He needs to step down; he never should have been there to need to do so. Baseball needs restructuring, it is at once archaic and contemporary, the new parts grafted on top of its decay, an aging Hollywood actor made of plastic. A Joan Rivers face, attempting to deceive the world into thinking she’s Megan Fox. A world moving so fast, it almost works—one because even if they had attention spans, most humans own the observational skills of two year olds.

No Boston fan will ever own up**—Manny ain’t theah prawblem anymore. I’m sure they’ll say he never got caught copping ‘roids down by the Charles River. He is however, the true face of the MLB, smug and bloated, and they only suspend him for 50 games? ha ha ha. Manny loves a vacation, he comes back well rested (pumped full of some new undetectable designer dope) for the stretch run and leads a slumping LA to the playoffs again. This is almost a strategic gift! Blow up baseball and bring the Dodgers back to Brooklyn—if you rebuild it they will come. But you won’t, you’re too fucking stupid. And so are your ugly, dumbass friends.

Did I mention beam me up, Simon? Simon! Theodore? ALVIN!!!**

__________________________________________________________________________

†  Ramirez tested positive for a  female(!) fertility drug HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin. HCG is popular with some steroid users because it can mitigate the side effects of ending a cycle of the drugs. Going off steroids can stop testosterone production, decreasing sperm count & shrinking testicles. Manny apparently wants to maintain those big balls as well as cheat…

* Niether Roberts nor SI printed a retraction—creeps.

** Denis Leary, Doris Kearns Goodwin & Jonathan Schwartz might, but they are exceptions because they are exceptional.

** Simon Pegg appears as Scotty in the new Star Trek movie—Alvin & the Chipmunks reference 110% gratuitous, though a nuts connotation is implicit

38 Ditches

March 24, 2009 3 comments

What a sad day. Curt Schilling announced his retirement from baseball. Notice he didn’t mention anything about retiring from shooting his mouth off. Most recently he boldly denounced Roger Clemens as a past, present and no doubt, future ” cheater.” Really went out on a limb with that one huh. He and that fathead burgomeister looking Papelbon need to keep holding those Bundestag bashes. Herr Oktober & Herr Oktoberfest–two clowns who would not have appeared out of place singing the Horstwessel Song in 1936.

Curt wants to enter the pure and virtuous world of politics. If he doesn’t like cheaters, he better rethink that move. Not to mention any dirty laundry he might have around, specifically hemotropic hosiery. He also has a blog. Hey! I have a blog. But all my socks are blood free, so far. He could do an album of songs & title it Blood on the Sox. Or Soxday Bloody Soxday. That spotlight ho Bono would probably sing back up. A Hollywood bio-pic could work for him too (not too big a stretch for his ego, or socks)— There Schill Be Blood. Only some suggestions. Nothing written in blood.

Schilling is/was an anomaly among athletes. He rarely resorted to spouting cliches or avoiding the media. In fact, he rarely waited to be asked to give his opinion, often calling a radio program & speaking his mind. Though he’s not a gifted extemporaneous speaker, he dazzles the jockocracy. Of course, they are the same clowns who think Kid Rock is major talent & Peter Gammons is a good guitar player. Not, to the former and meh, to the latter. Being fair & balanced, as a Yankee fan, I would say former NYY center fielder, Bernie Williams is a better guitar player than Kid Schlock & Gammons. That said, that ain’t saying much.

When Mr. Schilling did go to Washington, testifying in the Congressional Hearings on the dumbass Mitchell Report, he was uncharacteristically brief, if not actually curt. His pre-game had loads of bluster, I guess he choked when the game was on the line; he only wins v. the Yankees. For money and the fickle love of Beanotown. Still, who knows, Curt Schilling might help turn the fortunes of the USA around, just as he did with the Red Sox. He didn’t exactly leave there in perfect harmony, but hey, who ever does. At least his doughy pal Papelbon didn’t gloss Schill a ” cancer ” as he did another former soul, er, I mean team mate Manny Ramirez, the current poster boy for Boston persona non grata status. The Boston MLB franchise’s ESPN sponsored annual American League pennant front runner label, comes naturally to them; the fans have been front runners for a century. We’ll see. For sure we’ll hear.

So, Schilling can talk and form his own opinions. Yowzah. It’s easy to admit he was a clutch pitcher (damn facts), who twice got it up to beat the Yankees in championship level games. All this will serve him well if he enters the political arena. He might want to invest in a good pre-wash stain remover though. Politics is a much bloodier game than baseball. Those boys & girls do more than steroids to get a win. Someday he might rather he was in Philadelphia. . ..

Bias some peanuts & crackerjack

March 22, 2009 4 comments

There will be quite a few major newspapers closing shop by the end of 2009. On the list is the first one I ever read—The New York Daily News. It is a tabloid and that is the size & shape of the page, not a value judgement. Though, through the years it was castigated for a bit of yellow journalism, it was essentially, along with The NY Post, the daily of the common man. Also on the list is the Boston Globe, its unfortunate location aside, another legendary newspaper.

For those of you who may not know, the place where a reporter’s name is found, is called the byline. In the last few years of the 20th Century, it became more and more a biasline as regards sports. Whether in the print media on real paper, the online version or even the audio/video format, it was the journalistic signature. It took and gave sole responsibility for that piece of work to that individual (sometimes more than one). Well, with help and/or hindrance from the editorial staff & the headline editor. Again, for some of you who wouldn’t know this, the byline reporter does not write the headline for the story. Does not.

In the advent of self-centric existence, proving more than just cream rises to the top, contemporary journalists let their colors fly. Like some gangbanger in East LA. Or a gay man cruising Greenwich Village 4 AM Sunday. It once was ethical to not do this, journalists prided themselves as impartial. “Just the facts, ma’am. . ..” hmmm well, that was Dragnet ( a 1950’s TV show ), when being biased was bad. Though the words drag and net oddly suit. Now, most do it because, no one cares. They barely seem to spell check. As I point out ad nauseum, the TV and the radio guys especially make Mrs. Malaprop sound as if she’s William Safire. Suggesting they stick to words of one syllable would only pour gas on the flame. I wonder if they ever listened to radio before they got jobs. AND who the fuck is hiring these idiots.

I’m not a cultural anthropologist, I just play one on the web o’net. The illiteracy is acceptable to management because the offenders are paid to comment on sports, not be exemplars of elocution. Sure, I get that aspect—hardly rocket science. Yet, it is sad to hear words repeatedly misused and with such casual certitude. Any way I came to attack bias, and went off on my own. It just pains me to hear otherwise, almost intelligent people from bloggers to Hall of Fame writers, continually have to dump on the Yankees while building up the team they not so secretly support. The media people who are hovering under the 30 year old mark, only seem to go back to 1994. They also routinely refer to 2 or 3 years ago, as ” a long time.” Historical perspective is also taking a hit. I guess when one is myopic, it’s a problem seeing much clearly, let alone the ancient past of say, the 70’s.

One word the jockocracy loves and managed to use correctly is apologist. I suspect Keith Olbermann is responsible for this anomaly, he has read several non-sports books. He’s graduated from the playing fields to the smokey backroom, from Rick Reilly’s pal to Bill O’Riley’s archnemesis. This is as rare in the media as an actor getting elected President. Or governor, and still getting a movie rôle after leaving office. The world is so creepy now, I had to look up apologist, because they were getting it right. Proving the adage, even a blind pig finds it’s still a blind pig in the morning.

I am a New York Yankees apologist; I know it is difficult to root out bias in one’s self. Once I respected some of these sports media people. Until they were virtually the only radio I could listen to, in my special circumstances. In high school I was co-opted by punk ass authority figures into doing sports reporting. I’m not sure I’ll ever tell that whole story—not enough readers. I need a big audience for that one. I played baseball & then tennis, tennis after I realized I could neither hit nor throw a high school curveball. My antipathy towards sports is aimed at the suits & jocksniffers and not at the unis. Admittedly, I have very little in common with the players—I even love the game more than most of them too. I know why: they are in it for their paycheck—and rightly so. Guys like me are in it to get a small win in life & sometimes a big one, i.e. a World Series.

When I am Supreme Ruler of Existence, no announcer will wear a suit & tie, ever—that one is pure bullshit. Naturally, that mostly happens on network TV. The real guys in the trenches doing 150 plus games know better. A TV clown doing maybe 18 games, dresses up like the man tells him. Try talking for 4 hours wearing a tie—it’s not a coalmine for 18 hours, but it makes no sense. On the other hand, if you are an ahole who is ripping the Yankees—let me adjust that knot for you, maybe show you something in a Colombian? I abhor violence and never advocate it as a solution. But if every Yankee hater died right now, believe me I’d still have plenty to rail against.

Radio guys are always going to use the word continuously when they really mean continually. Or say comparable as compare-able. They just don’t care. I heard a guy, who seemed to be otherwise articulate and knowledgeable, say stigmatism ( no such word ). He meant stigma. Would I fire a guy for that? no. I would however, expect him to learn the right word. My sad consolation is, if you get simple words wrong when you are bashing the Yankees, you likely have some other holes in your game. Why does it grind me? because 97% of the audience doesn’t know this. Or much.

So, root root root for your home team and not against mine. If you do at least pronounce the words correctly and know what they mean. Practitioners of schadenfreude can all lech mich am arsch. If you know what I mean.

_____________________________

PS while reading some movie news, I happened across some vidcaps of that Tyler Perry in drag. In no way does he resemble a human female. He really needs to buy a good mirror.

Something in a 48 and long

February 20, 2009 Leave a comment

I am so worn out with people pontificating, who have never read a book, much less studied history. Even in their own ( and only ) area, of so called expertise. Yet, they look at everything through a toy microscope, while seemingly observing nothing beyond the obvious at the macro level, around them. They do have a name—they are the sports talk hosts, sports writers & the majority of sports fans. There is an old saying: If you can’t be a sport, at least wear a sport’s coat. Sport’s coat collection keeps getting pilfered by the aforementioned. AND they are ill-fitting.

ESPN is purportedly a sports and entertainment network. Most of their program content panders to the NFL and the Boston Red Sox. They have all the instincts of piranha with blood in the water. The current Alex Rodriguez story of steroid abuse, is right in their wheelhouse. They are tracking down A Rod cousins with the pit-bull tenacity of a yenta trying to get a match for an unmarried Hasidic woman pushing 30.

Only a lead with a heavy anti-Yankee angle could drag ESPN kicking & screaming from sucking up to the NFL. The National Football League—where 104 players guilty of steroid use would be the results for just two of their teams. Admittedly, it would be believable if an NFL player had no idea what substance he was shooting up. Baseball players are not all that bright, but compared to football & the other sports ( tennis the one exception ), they are virtual MENSA members.

Oh yes, ESPN is having a field day with A Rod’s downfall. Every move is analyzed, every facial expression critiqued. I can’t help but wonder how they’d have handled this, had Rodriguez become a Boston Red Sox player. Something which almost happened, but for the greed of the Major League Players Association.

Here’s how I imagine ESPN handling the same story—only A Rod is on the A Sox, er I mean Red Sox. . ..

Sports Center — A MLB player, whose anonymity is legally protected, has allegedly tested positive for a substance. This is ESPN Sports Center. Now back to Mike, Mike, Mike, plus Mike with special guest—Other Mike.

Mike: Wow. That’s some story. Hey Mike! You know Sports Illustrated has that swim suit issue coming out.

Mike: Yeah, my wife won’t let me see it. I made a doctor appointment, hoping he’ll have a copy in the waiting room.

Mike: Ha ha ha well, I bet what happened is the player was struggling and maybe had a protein shake right before the test any way.

Mike: Absolutely. And the SI reporter—isn’t she the one who got that Duke Lacrosse rape story all wrong? I’m trying to wrap my head around that.

Mike: That’s her all right. Hmmmm and also I’m guessing she’s not in the swimsuit issue too.

Mike: Ha ha ha ha ha. OK going forward. The NFL Draft is coming up in a few months. I hear this season they’re drafting Junior High kids. Smart move!

Mike: For sure Mike. I bet they have training programs especially set up for them. Lots of juice and running!

Mike: You bet. Lots of healthy juices.

Mike: I guess we should mention baseball spring training Mike.

Mike: Yep. Red Sox look awesome of late. Especially A Rod. What an ath-ah-lete!

Mike: You got that right Mike. Madonna sure looks awesome for 50. She’s un-compare-able. Probably in the Top 100 or at least 1000 for her age.

Mike: Mmmm SHE could be in the swim suit issue!

Mike: Great Mike. But I really can’t wait to see some of those 12 year old boys run the 440 at the Combine.

Mike: I’m not the Mike who said that!

Mike: Me neither!

Mike: Not me I’m married.

Mike: How ’bout that swimsuit issue!

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I wish they’d all just go to Texas. AND take all those bad sportscoats with them.

Hackety Hack Do Talk Back. . ..

February 9, 2009 5 comments

These are the Top Ten phrases I personally loathe, most often employed by intellectually challenged writers & talk show hosts. Anyone heard using any of these should be thought less of immediately, strapped to a rocket & sent into deep space. Below each, is my witty comeback. Dorothy Parker just IM-ed from Heaven to say — she ain’t worried.

1. Excuse me?

OK you’re excused. In fact, you’re expelled. Forever.

2. Moving forward

Be my guest, and please do keep moving.

3. Wrap my mind/head around

Hold still, I’ll help, just let me get my Louisville Slugger.

4. of late

Miss Manners’ lawyer called. She’s suing you for speaking like a prig from a Henry James novel.

5. share with you

No thanks. I’m not into sharing. With you.

6. I’ll be honest with you

I’m pleased you admit it. Up until now, I had the feeling you were lying.

7. own it

Really— you looked like more of renter to me.

8. unlimited use

B U L L S H I T

9. here’s the weather for your ( fill in day of week )

I rather have that guy’s weather over there. He looks happy.

10. I got nothin’

Seriously, I got nothin’.  I ran out with number 9.