Frisco Sidewalk Sign: ‘Josh Hamilton Drinks Free’

Kevin Kaduk of Yahoo Sports spots this sign outside a San Francisco bar before Game 1 of the World Series between San Francisco and the Texas Rangers.

Josh Hamilton Drinks Free Sign

(Next up: ‘Josh Hamilton is a quitter’?)

If you somehow don’t know by now, Josh Hamilton of the Rangers is a long-documented alcohol and substance abuser.

Having lived in Los Angeles now 11 years, I’m no Dodger fan - but being here has opened my eyes to the level of malevolence Giants fans are capable. When it comes to San Fran fans, especially in the context of the Dodgers, this is more typical than most people know.

“Everybody Hates Chris”: Art Soon To Imitate Life?

I’ll admit that before today, I knew next to nothing about Chris Bosh. All these years, I made zero effort to familiarize myself with his NBA career and background.

Chris Bosh

Thanks to Stefan Bondy of the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, I now know all I need to know about him.

Bosh was in New York this week to promote one of his few sponsors, the Milk Board, when he told Bondy that he intentionally misled fans and the media about his intentions before he signed with the Miami Heat.

He also likened “playing with people’s emotions to “entertainment.” Read more…

Cuban’s ‘Dumbest’ Media? He Wants To Hire Them

On Dec. 24, 2008, Mark Cuban wrote a post in his personal blog titled, “Why Pro Sports Need Newspapers.

Mark Cuban hypocritical stance on media

Cuban wrote at the time:

Professional Sports Leagues and teams, if we want to continue to connect to our local casual sports fan, needs to work with our local papers to try to keep them alive as long as possible.

More importantly, from a business perspective, because their customer base skews older, they dont use the net as a primary source of data, they have more disposable income to buy tickets and merchandise for themselves, their businesses and their families. In other words, their customers pay our bills.

Because of that, Cuban proposed that pro sports leagues actually employ media members:

My suggestion to the powers that be in the leagues I have spoken to is to have the leagues work together and create a “beatwriter co-operative” . We need to create a company that funds, depending on the size of the market and number of teams, 2 or more writers per market, to cover our teams in depth. The writers would cover multiple teams and multiple sports.

For the newspapers, its a way to get employees off the books, retain good writers that have a history with the papers and teams, and actually improve their publications. The leagues and teams depend on quantity and quality of coverage. We need to recognize the weaknesses of those we depend on and start addressing them today.

Cuban remains the first and only major league pro sports team owner I’ve seen place so much value on the media that he would suggest paying them himself. (For which he deserves credit, I might add.)

On August 5, 2010, Cuban wrote the following in the same blog about his bid to buy the Texas Rangers:

What I have learned in 11 years in the sports business is that the dumbest guys in the room are always the media guys. Some do a decent job of reporting, most just spew opinions.  And those opinions change more often than they brush their teeth. So what the media was saying was of zero impact or influence on what i was going to do. Listening to the media only increases your odds of failing at whatever you are doing.  So I ignore them.

That passage doesn’t exactly square with the value Cuban previously placed on sports media in his 2008 post.
Read more…

Longest Pro Football HOF Speech? Chris Berman

Your Pro Football Hall of Fame speech lengths last weekend in Canton:

Chris Berman with big boobed woman photo

(Speechless - for once)

Emmitt Smith: 21 minutes
Jerry Rice: 16 minutes
Dick Lebeau: 18 minutes
Russ Grimm: 9 minutes
Floyd Little: 9 minutes
Rickey Jackson: 8 minutes
John Randle: 4 minutes
Chris Berman:

Chris Berman 28 minute Pro Football Hall of Fame Speech

28 minutes.

To be fair, let’s take a look at the length of the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speeches of Brent Musburger and Howard Cosell. Read more…

Tiki’s Girlfriend: Plenty Of People Do What We Did

Tiki Barber appeared with girlfriend Traci Johnson on Entertainment Tonight this week in an apparent attempt to explain their actions in the aftermath of Barber leaving his current wife of 11 years.

Tiki Barber Girlfriend Photos Traci Lynn Johnson Photos

(ATTN Homewreckette: Pipe down and stay in your lane.)

During the appearance, Barber maintained that he was completely innocent of an extramarital affair: “We were only friends when I was still married. I was separated, out of my house so it wasn’t until then that we took things to the next level.”

Read more…

AL Rookie of the Year’s Epic Beatdown Of LaRussa

The SPRINGFIELD (IL) STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER today has a baseball yarn for the ages spun by 1983 American League Rookie of the Year Ron Kittle about his former White Sox manager Tony “I know how to f—ing manage” LaRussa.

Tony LaRussa Ron Kittle

Pull up a chair.

“My first dealing with Tony, and I don’t even know if he’ll remember that . . . he was (the White Sox’s) Double-A or Triple-A manager and I was in Class A (in spring training) and the catcher got hurt so I was in my catcher’s gear . . . my team had already left; they were at home . . . and it was Double-A vs. Triple-A. So Tony’s at third base (coaching) and the catcher gets hurt, I fill in for him, man at first and third.

“And he goes, ‘We’re not going to steal on you.’ The first thing he said. So I’m thinking, ‘I know what he’s going to do.’ Read more…

Embalming Fluid: New Sports Endorsement Craze?

From Baseball Think Factory:

Tommy Lasorda

Photo of Lasorda looking quite flammable today. Read more…

Laker Charade: LA Mayor Gets Twitter Tweetdown

Last year I reported that when Los Angeles Mayor and consumate opportunist Antonio Villaraigosa tried to board the same Lakers championship parade bus as Kobe Bryant, Bryant said at the time, “I don’t like the —hole, I’m not going to let him pimp my popularity!

During the abbreviated Lakers parade yesterday, a single bus was charged with carrying all the players. Thanks to Villaraigosa somehow also being allowed on the same bus, all hell broke loose on Twitter in reaction to L.A.’s stowamayor.

Below are a series of consecutive Tweets posted at the moment the mayor was first seen via local TV coverage on the Lakers bus:

Antonio Villaraigosa gets Twitter beatdown for sneaking on Lakers parade bus

Of all the Tweets about the mayor’s appearance in the parade, there wasn’t a single positive - or neutral - entry. In other words, Kobe has plenty of company.

Though I’m pleased to report that we did get some good news in L.A. today about our stowamayor.

Read more…

Yankees Embarrassing Mascot Revealed (Not Hank)

As the New York Yankees are consumed with constantly reminding us of their past, today I thought I’d celebrate, via Scott Cacciola of the WALL STREET JOURNAL, a certain Yankee tradition that deserves much more recognition.

Yankee Mascot Dandy

(Ruth, Gehrig, Dimaggio, Dandy)

The Yankees employed a Phillie Phanatic knockoff mascot at Yankee Stadium in the ’70s and ’80s. The thing was called “Dandy” and made by the same woman who came up with the Phanatic and Miss Piggy.

Yankee Mascot Dandy

The best part: George Steinbrenner signed off on it.

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner had final approval, and he met with Mr. Harrison and Ms. Erickson at his Yankee Stadium office one afternoon during the early part of the season.

He sat at a large oval table that overlooked the field while two top-level executives—both of whom had expressed their support for the project—sat quietly along a wall behind him.

It was clear to Dandy’s creators that the onus would fall on them to convince Mr. Steinbrenner, who signed off on the mascot with one caveat. He pointed out that Dandy’s fur was royal blue. “That should be Yankee blue,” Mr. Steinbrenner said.

More from Cacciola’s report:

Marty Appel, the Yankees’ former public relations director, said he had only a vague recollection of Dandy.

“It was sort of un-Yankee-like to have a big mascot running around,” Mr. Appel said.

Wait, then why is Hank still on the payroll? Read more…

Team Player? LeBron Won’t Speak To Tom Izzo!

The unintentionally uproarious conduct of LeBron James continues as CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER Cavs beat reporter Brian Windhorst reports today:

Lebron James: All About Winning

(He’s All About Winning, Which Is Why He Won’t Talk To Izzo)

A source today: LeBron respects coach (Tom) Izzo but continues his plan not to get involved with Cavs coach search or speak to candidates.

So what’s preventing James from speaking to Izzo? Not club owner Dan Gilbert, who reportedly has Izzo as his first choice to coach the team. Read more…