Week In Review: Pitino Pays $3,000 For Abortion

Rick Pitino’s reputation has taken a huge hit, as the Louisville b-ball coach impregnated the woman who’s been trying to extort him, then paid $3,000 for the abortion.

Rick Pitino Karen Sypher

And now Karen Sypher says her marriage to Cardinals equipment manager Tim was all just a sneaky plot by Pitino to keep an eye on her. But hey, don’t blame Rick - blame 9/11!

• The release party for the new Miami Dolphins cheerleaders bikini calendar was quite the spectacle.

Jay Mariotti denies that he’s going to be writing for the Chicago Tribune. Can’t wait to see Jay’s debut column in the Trib on September 1st!

Manny Ramirez gets a memorable reception from San Francisco Giants fans - the same kind of reception that Barry Bonds used to get everywhere else except in the Bay Area.

• Engaged Malibu fashion designer Ali Kay may have encouraged Reggie Miller’s unwanted advances by sending the ex-NBA star photos of herself in bed & in a bikini. At least Ali’s still pretty good at making clothes.

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Mariotti Issues Limp Denial, Hasn’t ‘Finalized’ Deal

In response to my report last night on Jay Mariotti joining the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, Ted Cox of Chicagoland’s DAILY HERALD has this wonderfully inappropriate, hyperbolic headline:

Chicago Daily Herald Airs Mariotti Tribune Pathetic Denials

(The commenters on the story aren’t buying the FLAT-OUT!!! denials, either)

If you were to read the headline, and not Jay Mariotti’s accompanying comments in Cox’s piece, you would think there’s FLAT-OUT!!! no way Mariotti will be joining the Trib staff when his non-compete with the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES expires.

One problem though, Mariotti did not deny to Cox that he will be joining the Tribune.

Not even close.

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Official: Jay Mariotti Moving To Tribune On Sept. 1

I’ve never held a fascination for Jay Mariotti, the Chicago-based columnist made infamous by his RPG-inspired ledes. But as I recently received a tip on his next career move, figured I might as well let you in on it.

Jay Mariotti Pisses In Pete Gaines' Wheaties - Joins Chicago Tribune

(Will history repeat itself for SbB’s Pete Gaines? We can only hope!)

If you live outside of Chicago, there’s a good chance you only know Mariotti from his surprisingly well-reasoned work on ESPN’s Around The Horn. But if you inhabit Chicagoland, you know him to be a chap quite rightly deserving of a slap.

For 17 years, Mariotti made his bones banging pots and pans as a sports columnist for the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES - a perennial underdog to the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. But after leaving the S-T for AOL Fanhouse under less-than-pleasant circumstances, it was thought his Chicago days might be over.

Fast forward a year after Mariotti’s move and the Tribune is suddenly, as noted here three weeks ago, bleeding readers to newly-launched ESPNChicago.com. Desperate to breathe some life into its flagging on- and off-line circulation, the Tribune has now consumated what was once considered to be unthinkable. Read more…

Jeter’s Gigantic 31,000-Sq. Ft. Home Almost Ready

• That is one mighty-sized mansion Derek Jeter is building himself down in Tampa.

Derek Jeter house

• Both Tom Watson & Lance Armstrong fall short over the weekend.

• Cubs skipper Lou Piniella gets personal with Milton Bradley.

• Indonesia asks Manchester United to never mind the bombings.

• $12 million could sure help the Arena Football League stay in business.

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Hit a Home Run, Get Accused of Taking Steroids

If you’d like to know why steroids make a great story, ask the Chicago newspapers this week.  They’ve taken one tiny insinuation made completely tongue-in-cheek by one columnist and turned it a tempest in a Theriot-sized teapot.

Ryan Theriot

That Theriot would be petite Ryan Theriot, female fan favorite and infielder for the Chicago Cubs.  He’s rattled off five home runs this spring after one all last year in a performance that reeks of small sample size.  CHICAGO SUN-TIMES columnist Rick Telander then (mostly) jokingly accused The Riot of being juiced up because we can no longer trust anyone in baseball and so on.

Then the crosstown rival CHICAGO TRIBUNE asked Theriot and his teammates about the story and all hell broke loose.

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Jay Mariotti Cannot Write For The Chicago Tribune

It’s been just about three weeks since Jay Mariottiresigned” from his columnist gig at the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, and they’ve been an odd three weeks for Chicago sports fans. Without Mariotti telling them why all Chicago teams suck, fans are actually enjoying their team’s division races in baseball, and there is even some optimism about the Chicago Bears after the way they beat the Indianapolis Colts in week one of the NFL season.

When Mariotti did leave the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES he did so because he said it was his belief that newspapers were a dying business (though there are conflicting stories going around that Jay threw a hissy fit over Rick Telander getting to write a Barack Obama column and threatened to leave for the millionth time, and this time the SUN-TIMES just called his bluff).

I believe his exact words were: “I’m a competitor and I get the sense this marketplace doesn’t compete.  Everyone is hanging on for dear life at both papers. I think probably the days of high-stakes competition in Chicago are over.  To see what has happened in this business. … I don’t want to go down with it.”

So that must be why Jay was in negotiations with the CHICAGO TRIBUNE until lawyers from the SUN-TIMES threatened to sue.

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Chicago Tribune Gives Mariotti Haters a Voice

UPDATE: The message board’s working again! Let the bile spew.

The CHICAGO TRIBUNE and CHICAGO SUN-TIMES have been taking out their anger over their ownership kerfuffles on each other recently, especially in their sports departments (where it doesn’t look quite as petty, perhaps).

First, a Tribune intern wins a Sun-Times video contest disparaging Tribune Company and Cubs owner Sam Zell and his attacks on Wrigley. (After all, who knows the old coot best than the ones that hate him most?)

The ante has been upped, at least temporarily, by the new turn of events at the Sun-Times. The paper’s Web site now accepts comments from readers, opening a social networking-new media-Web 2.0 thingies that someone at the Sun-Times decided was essential to new paradigms blah blah. Except, of course, Jay Mariotti wasn’t having any of that. No comments on his columns, thanks.

Chicago Tribune Jay Mariotti message board remnants

For a brief time Friday afternoon and evening, though, the Chicago Tribune came up with a solution for disenfranchised Mariotti commenters: their own message board on the Chicago Tribune’s Web site. However, that board is gone as of this morning, leaving a “Server Error” behind. Proof of the board’s brief existence can only be found at Google.

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Anti-Zell Sun-Times Contest Won By Tribune Intern

Leave it to a CHICAGO TRIBUNE intern to “punk” the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES who was running an anti-Sam Zell video contest, reports newspaper insider publication EDITOR AND PUBLISHER. Katie Hamilton landed the $1,000 first-place prize and promptly gave it to Tribune charities. We’re guessing the always-tight Trib failed to give Katie a bonus for her efforts. A full-time job would probably suffice.

Sun Times, Cubs and Chicago Tribune

Ms. Hamilton’s video was created around Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” classic. Watch it here. Sam Zell has been enemy #1 in Chicago ever since he mentioned the possible sale of naming rights to Wrigley Field. It’s like America selling one of its national parks to China.

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Sam Zell Wants to Ruin Everything in Chicago

Sam Zell, caretaker owner of the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field as part of his December purchase of the Tribune Company, wants everyone to know that “his role is to throw bombs and shake people up. He’s a man of his word.” For Cubs fans, that word has been “monetize”. (At least, that’s the clean version. Zell prefers naughtier words.)

Sam Zell shows us the money

He’s rolled as many grenades under the new furniture as possible, including layoffs on the Tribune side and throwing ideas out randomly to wring every last nickel out of the Cubs franchise before selling it off. However, his notion to sell naming rights to Wrigley Field isn’t remotely the worst of it; now he’s trying to destroy Chicago architecture. No, really. All of it.

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