Wednesday, January 26, 2005

There's No Crying in Baseball

I've mentioned on a couple of occasions that Steelers kicker Jeff Reed is a UNC alum. What I don't think I've ever written here is that Bill Cowher played football at N.C. State. Anyway, here's a story from last week's Raleigh News & Observer about some of the ACC connections on the Steelers:
As a Wolfpack linebacker in the mid-1970s, Cowher defined mud-and-blood competition. Rarely did you see him without one band-aid plastered to his forehead and another across the bridge of his nose. His knuckles were perpetually red and raw.

The late Bo Rein, then State's head coach, sometimes referred to Cowher and Kyle Wescoe, his inside linebacker sidekick, as "Ol' Ugly" and "Ol' Uglier."

Not that he was ever particularly fond of anyone on the opposite side of the line, but in those days, Cowher despised Carolina. At a news conference during State-Carolina week, Cowher was asked whether he had any friends on UNC's team.

"Nope. Don't want any," he said.
I wonder if Jeff Reed will ask Cowher in their end-of-the-year meeting if he has any friends from UNC now? To stress his point, I would advise Reed to wear his UNC uniform (helmet and all) to the meeting. Just a thought.

This is hilarious. In the past 12 months seldom has it been the case that A-Rod has had the upper hand when dealing with the Red Sox. First, Jason Varitek slapped him around, and then A-Rod tried unsuccessfully to slap Bronson Arroyo. And then, shortly after the World Series, Curt Schilling made some really weird comments about how this Boston team never would have won the World Series with A-Rod on the team because he doesn't have what it takes (or something to that effect). Whether you believe that or not isn't the point. It was a dumb, peculiar thing to say after a team went 86 years without a World Series title.

Well, it took a few months, but A-Rod finally responded:
"To me, it was just odd because, I mean, we beat him a couple of times during the year, and he was crying on the bench," Rodriguez said. "And then he lost Game 1 [of the American League Championship Series], and he wouldn't talk or anything. And, obviously, he wins Game 6, and then he's still talking till today. So it's just something we as players have been accustomed to."
That's too funny. And for as much as I despise A-Rod, I think he's well within his rights to bust up Schilling in this instance. And why exactly is Schilling the self-anointed spokesman for this team, anyway? I'd much rather have that title fall to Manny, if for no other reason than he's guaranteed to say something crazy (it'll be sincere too, but mostly crazy). Anyway, after not returning calls from the press for a day, here was Schilling's snappy comeback:
It's not true, I talked after Game 1," Schilling said. "I don't care what Alex says. When someone says that, you consider the source."

Schilling also said he "was upset, but I wasn't crying on the bench."
Oooh, Burn! Nice one Curt -- that'll teach A-Rod to open his yap. OK, that wasn't really a burn; in fact it doesn't even qualify as a feeble comeback. I guess when a grown man accuses another grown man of crying during a sporting event, it's kind of hard to refute the charges. I'm kind of surprised Schilling didn't use the "Someone was cutting onions in the dugout" excuse.

Either way I'm guessing this won't even slow down Schilling. In fact, after he hires a writer to pen some snappy comebacks, I'm sure he'll call every newspaper and talk radio show to try out his new material. I have an idea too. Instead of spending so much time blabbing, why don't you work on being ready for opening day?

This is even more hilarious. Yesterday the New York Post printed a love letter Paris Hilton wrote to then boyfriend Nick Carter at some point last year (by the way, if you want to spice things up a bit, just google "Paris Hilton Nick Carter" and see what you get. Oh yeah, I wouldn't do it at work). What struck me as impressive was the fact that Hilton was actually able to string a few sentences together. Anyway, I've taken the liberty of reprinting the letter here:
"I don't want you to ever worry because I would never [bleep] this up for anything in the world. It's been really hard for me these past couple of months and I'm so happy I found you. You are the [bleep] and I love you to death," she wrote to him last year in a birthday card. Sometime later she wrote, "I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am for lying to you before and I want to let you know that it will never happen again. I can't explain the pain I felt when I thought I lost you. It was like half of me had been ripped from my soul. I never felt so alone and I never want to feel that way again. I never want to lose you. I never want to hurt you again . . . I'm so sorry for the pain that I have caused you. From now on things will be different, I promise."
Incidentally, this is also the same note found in A-Rod's locker after game 7 of the ALCS. And yes, it was addressed to Derek Jeter.

I spend a lot of time lambasting certain sportswriters for being lazy, dumb or for just making stuff up. Apparently, this is where the similarities end between me and Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban (as soon as I buy an NBA team and make a billion dollars, things will be different). Unlike most owners though, Cuban shares his thoughts about a couple of sportswriters that particularly irk him on his weblog:
"...Sam Smith is still clueless. I got to speak to him face to face when we played in Chicago and told him so. It was a pleasure to do so. He didnt really argue when I suggested that he misleads people into believing that what he writes is fact rather than his opinion . I guess I shouldnt be surprised. His column just reflects the cultures of the company and newspaper he works for. You would think given what they are going through, the Chicago Tribune would offer disclaimers around everything he writes."
It sounds like Cuban has known that Smith is a dope for a long time. But there looks to be a new guy in town hoping to usurp Smith at the top of the "worst sportswriter in America" list:
There is another writer that I dont correspond with , or talk to, that has taken upon himself to write what he thinks Im thinking. The new moron in town is Chad Ford of

To think that ESPN let David Aldridge go for this. David Aldridge checked his facts. David Aldridge would email me in the middle of the night asking one last time if he had his facts correct, or if it was something that couldn't be commented on, to let you know what he was going with to make sure he got it right.

I remember one time David and I got into a disagreement about what fans thought about the game,its players and costs. I told him that I thought fans loved the game, and all he had to do was talk to them to find out. He did. He went and sat in the stands and talked to the customers of the NBA and asked them what they thought. When they told him they thought the game was fun and affordable, he wrote just that. With quotes from the fans.

So instead of a Aldridge, a reporter with great relationships around the NBA and access to information, they go with a guy,who at least in my case doesnt take the time to email me and ask. Its not like he cant find my email.

Its not a suprise. Like Sam Smith, he is just one of the guys who would rather not let facts get in the way.

The irony of it all, is that he writes for the ESPN Insider section of the website.The sad part is that charges for access to what he writes. This guy is so far from the inside of whats going on , that ESPN should be embarrased to take subscription money from its members.

I wonder if is kicking themselves for the one they let get away
Well, no one ever accused Cuban of being soft-spoken. It's one thing to have some numnut with an internet connection and the ability to type saying some not-so-nice things (like me, for example), but when someone like Mark Cuban takes time out from running a team to skewer a writer for basically printing lies, it's really funny. I don't watch much NBA basketball, but I always liked David Aldridge and often wondered what brainiac thought it would be a good idea to replace him on The Network with Screamin' A. Smith. And since I refuse to give any money for there whole Insider racket (I prefer to waste my money on the Black & Gold Insider instead), I have absolutely no idea who Chad Ford is. And given Cuban's comments, it sounds like a lot of people in the NBA don't know him either. Well, at least they didn't until Cuban donkey-punched him.