Sunday, April 29, 2007
[Hat tip, The Sporting Orange]
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
In light of Whitney’s post about Eddie Money (kind of) yesterday afternoon, the good people at G:TB have asked me to recount my now (quasi) famous Eddie Money story. Now, I know that most great stories have some kind of descriptive title like “The Party Pooper” or “Roberto made out with a man” so you’re probably a little skeptical about a tale with a title as plain as “The Eddie Money Story”. However, I assure you that once you’ve read this story you’ll realize why it needs no further explanation within the title. This is THE definitive Eddie Money story. Well, at least for my…alright, that would’ve been extremely cheesy.
Anyway, the story takes place about 6 years ago in Ft. Lauderdale, FL at the local horse track, Gulfstream Park. In addition to holding daily races, Gulfstream runs a concert series each spring weekend over a two to three month period. These concerts are free to the public and often feature musical acts on the downside of their respective careers such as Cheap Trick, The Allman Brothers, or in this case, Eddie Money. During this time I had a friend (we’ll call her Melanie) working at Gulfstream whose job it was to fulfill the conditions of each act’s rider. The main responsibility of this usually boiled down to picking up specifically requested booze or food and delivering it backstage to that day’s musical guest whilst they awaited showtime. This particular day was no different as Melanie was sent off to pick up assorted foodstuffs as well as a few bottles of liquor for Mr. Money and his bandmates. However, since Eddie was the marquee name he had a separate rider (and trailer) from that of his bandmates.
Once Melanie had finished purchasing the various requested items, she returned to Gulfstream in order to deliver them to their respective owners. She quickly made her way to the trailer for Eddie’s band (forgive me, I have no idea what they call themselves) and dropped off the items as they had requested. Shortly thereafter, Melanie walked up to Eddie’s trailer and knocked on the door. No answer. After waiting a few seconds, Melanie once again knocked on the trailer door. Still no answer. At this point, Melanie grabbed the door handle and discovered that the trailer door was unlocked. After knocking one last time, Melanie assumed Eddie was not on the premises and proceeded to open the door to Eddie Money’s trailer. As Melanie walked in with an armful of groceries, she realized that Eddie Money was, in fact, present in his trailer. To be more specific, Eddie Money was sitting on the couch in his trailer with his arm fully rigged up and a needle sticking out of one of the veins in his arm. Not surprisingly, Melanie freaked out. Though she doesn’t remember specifically, she says she muttered something to the effect of, “Oh God, I’m sorry” before she dropped the bag of groceries at Eddie’s feet and ran out of his trailer as fast as humanly possible.
Kind of gives “Two Tickets to Paradise” a different feel, doesn’t it?
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Anyway, I was then trying to recall which of the Wheelhouse/G:TB commentors -- an incestuous group in the best kind of way, I assure you -- had reeled it off for us, but blanked. I had thought it might be "Geoff," but I've since been corrected. Anyway, it began to bother me so much (hey, those drives can get awfully tedious) that I was a good 30 seconds into the next song -- "Baby Hold On" by Eddie Money -- before I realized it. And I freaked out, with nobody to tell. And there you are. Wild, wacky stuff.
It capped off a bizarre few months. First, I saw a guy driving his motorcycle down the highway . . . doing wheelies. Wheelies, for Pete's sake, in the right lane of the feeder road between I-66 and the Dulles Toll Road. A bunch of them, and grinning a huge, toothy grin all the way. Awesome. Then I saw a crazy guy in a suit talking to himself in Union Station, only to realize he was on one of those Bluetooth wireless phone things that was in his ear, only to realize that he wasn't, and he actually was a crazy guy in a suit spouting some disturbingly weird things to the row of caps in "Lids." And finally, I picked up my three-year-old daughter at daycare sometime last month and met a little boy with the sweetest mohawk you ever saw. Meticulously shaved on the sides, curly and pronounced right down the middle. In subsequent visits to daycare, I have learned that this wasn't a one-shot deal, like a bet or something -- the kid is maintaining it proper. Three years old.
I don't know what this world is coming to, and that's what makes it very interesting. Renew my subscription, please.
* Apparently no one cares that we randomly saw Michael Jack in the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport on our way back (when the hell did the Jackson get tacked on by the way? is it Jesse Jackson? Jermaine?). Fine, screw you all...I thought it was worthy of mention, but I hate you all.
* Hey, Chase Wright just gave up another home run...
* Airtran airways should only market to those 6 feet tall and under. I'd rather cram into the back of a Yugo for a 5 hour ride than sit in the box they consider a seat. And yes, if I wasn't so cheap I could probably fly an airline that has adult-size seats. But I apparently don't get raises for doing this nonsense all day.
* I finally got around to reading The Jordan Rules on my flights (15 years after the rest of the world), and I think Sam Smith could just have easily titled it "Stacey King is a steaming pile of Poop". I am shocked King didn't kill Smith after that book was published.
* I don't know what is more disturbing - that La Burger Brasserie in the Paris Hotel has the audacity to sell a $777 hamburger, or the fact that David Hasselhoff is headlining their production of The Producers. "It's Springtime for K.I.T.T. and Michael Knight..."
* Hey, Chase Wright just gave up another home run...
* Can someone explain to me how Rita Rudner and Louie Anderson are still headlining major casinos in Vegas? I mean, isn't Anderson a kid toucher? What, Paula Poundstone and Jim J. Bullock were booked?
* I actually got a chance to see the end of the Warriors Game 1 upset of the Mavericks, and I must say, the Warriors were damn impressive. And this nugget about Stephen Jackson tickled me just right:
In fact, the Warriors were so giddy about breaking a 13-year playoff drought that Jackson, still facing probation violations for discharging a firearm during a preseason strip-club parking lot incident in Indianapolis, does a mock police frisk with his hands behind his head in pregame introductions with teammate Matt Barnes.* Hey, Chase Wright just gave up another home run...
"It's a little joke for all the people who think I'm a bad guy, who don't know me," Jackson told the San Francisco Chronicle. "It's like, 'I got nothing on me, I just want to play basketball and have fun.' "
* This might be of interest to no one, but it appears there is life after professional wrestling for some. The general manager of Cheetah's Gentleman's Club in Vegas is none other than Charles Wright, known to me, Jerry and legions of slack-jawed troglodytes as the WWF's "Godfather". He didn't even have to modify his wrestling schtick for his new gig. Life is good for Mr. Wright.
* Speaking of that Yankees/Red Sox series, ah fuck it, I don't even want to talk about it. Just plain depressing...and it cost me money. Alex Rodriguez is playing out of his mind, yet the Yankees starters are so atrocious they need to call up a 20 yr old wunderkid as their savior. Hopefully Chien-Ming "Hey Wang, don't tell 'em your Jewish" can come back strong today.
* One last note on the Red Sox - Everyone knows about Dice-K, but if you haven't been paying attention the Sox also signed a Japanese middle reliever named Hideki Okajima to make Matsuzaka feel a little more comfortable. This is how I imagine those two spend their off days:
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
But, and it's a Dmitri Young-sized but, while G:TB stands accused of perhaps speaking too soon on Les Nats, let's all keep in mind that despite their newfound winning ways they are still currently on pace for merely a 50-112 record. Let's also keep in mind that they've been outscored 67-36 over the first 13 games. We're going to stick to our guns on this one.
The jury should still be out on this club; as evidenced in last year's $16M Marlins that scrapped and clawed its way to 78 wins against all conventional wisdom (and still saw Joe Girardi get dumped), it can happen. (4th place and a record just a few wins shy of .500 -- these are the goals, likely unattainable though they may be, of the 2007 Washington Nationals.) If you ask some people, there's every chance these Nats are better than we think. Those people are listed here:
Dmitri Young (when he takes his meds)
The gentleman on F St. to whom TJ makes charitable contributions
Screech (the bird at right, not this guy)
The rest of the sporting world considers them toast; not many have pored over the club and examined them on the level that Gheorghe has, but they're no less wrong. The G:TB jury, one that resembles the jury of a certain trial of a certain former football player & actor, is not out. We've weighed in on the Nots, ad nauseum at this point, and we're just here to caution you against raising expectations on these guys.
So go on out to RFK on some -- warmer -- night, cheer on the hometown nine, take the kids and/or have a few pops, and celebrate the national pastime in the nation's capital. (We shouldn't take that latter part for granted simply because this assemblage of players doesn't dazzle. It's easy to forget that we bellyached for years without a team in DC.) Just don't have your night's value contingent upon a win, because in most cases, the only W's you'll see will be on the ballcaps. Enjoy.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Anyway, I only mention this because there's another apology not cutting it right now. Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong has issued a succinct "my bad" to the three Duke lacrosse players he assumed were guilty a year ago as he won re-election via fronting the lynch mob to string them up. "Stuff your sorrys in a sock, mister," you can hear the exonerated players saying as they mount their lawsuits against Nifong, his office, Duke University, the false accuser, Jesse Jackson, Bunny Hole Entertainment, Greg Garber, and the free world. The suits might not net a cent, but there should be some recourse for the falsely accused, and a blanket party for Nifong seems like it might be another unwise decision by Duke's lax team.
It seems fairly clear that Nifong's behavior stemmed not from sinister motives but the mad desire for votes, but just like in George Wallace's case, it hardly matters. He fast-tracked a case in such a way that nearly railroaded these kids to the tune of 30 years in the clink. He used (at best) questionable ethics and (at worst) hideously shady tactics. If Imus was fired for a casual but incendiary insult, disbarment is a minimum for Nifong. There has to be some accountability.
It seems like the accuser won't know any accountability in a legal sense, but now that irresponsible parties have pasted her name everywhere, some moron with a skewed sense of justice may unfortunately deliver some ugly payback. And at best she returns to her "normal" life, which, if you believe what you read (but wait . . . I don't), it sounds like her best days are our worst. Karma will take its toll there.
Meanwhile, at least Nifong did apologize. Greg Garber, you thought you'd skate with that simple mention above? Hardly. When you penned your tear-stained tribute to the legions of vigilant protesters and victims worldwide, it was bad enough to be guilty of cashing in on this misfortune with some atrociously maudlin prose. (Really, the pinwheel metaphor is beyond pathetic.) And we at G:TB mocked you for that in the comments of a post while cautioning against snap judgments.
The thing is, when you went all in on "guilty until proven innocent" in a piece that was communicated across the planet, you gave the wheels of momentum a touch of extra acceleration. You served as a cog in the machine that, thank God, fell short of steamrolling innocent college students into prison terms but did manage to rip a year from their lives, tarnish their names, and scar their psyches. ESPN and its online presence, like publications everywhere, frequently blur the line between reporting fact and offering opinion; that suspect practice was rarely more irresponsible than in your 2,000 words of "we find the defendants guilty" masked as a profile of the Durham community and Duke campus. Outrage takes on a whole new meaning when one pores over the words now, does it not?
This one we failed to catch, and it actually brought me some levity just now:
The players, according to police, have not been cooperative in the investigation. The school has not undertaken its own investigation of the incident, instead deferring to the Durham Police Department, a decision that has sparked widespread criticism.The first statement is one Nifong is now accused of perpetuating falsely. A pretty pointed statement for something that looks to be untrue, no? The second sentence is preposterous. Assuming you don't have any career detectives on the school board, whom do you want doing the investigation, the campus police? The Keystone Kops of the police hierarchy? Where I went to school, the campus cops were absolutely laughable. One of them strolled into our house party "undercover" to investigate any possible underage drinking. Walked up to the bar and asked for a beer, surveying the scene, looking smooth. His name was Pedro, we all knew him from around campus, he stood out anyway as a beefy, 6'4" African-American . . . and he was wearing a trenchcoat and a fedora. It was quite literally fall-down funny, and that's who you want conducting the investigation of rape charges? Really? Because that would be a travesty.
We at Gheorghe have bitched and moaned ad nauseum about the lack of accountability in sports reporting. Most of the time we're talking about light-hearted matters, like when talking heads and dopes with by-lines make bold predictions and cocksure, aggressive statements that prove ridiculous -- only to have those initial assertions washed away and forgotten by the time they'd be exposed. We even took to recording statements in hopes of restoring a tiny tad of accountability into a realm where it's been forgotten. Folks in the press need to be reminded of their outlandish, even insulting remarks to preserve ever-eroding humility and provide some sense of perspective. You people aren't policing yourselves on these matters, clearly, so we're here to do it for you.
This is a whole other matter. Were you alone in jumping to the conclusion that the Duke lacrosse players were violent rapists? Hardly. But you had a virtual megaphone, and unfortunately for you, Internet postings leave a trail. (Kudos to ESPN for not deleting such articles in the name of protecting its image.) Gene Wojciechowski compiled a list of fallible quotes from last year. Plenty of people look either foolish or -- worse -- guilty of having their own agenda to push. Your name is nowhere on there, but it could very well be.
I'm not saying it should cost you your job or even warrant a suspension. But while those who held off on judging the situation were getting labeled bigots of race, gender, and class, a great number of people went on record with some candidly harsh material. Now is the time to stand up and say it. I was wrong. Really wrong. The people I interviewed and quoted were wrong. We were misled by a guy who was more wrong, but we were all very, very mistaken. And we apologize.
The apology, like Imus's, might end up in your tube socks quickly enough, but it would mean something to the minds at Gheorghe: The Blog to see someone take some ownership for a bad call once in a while.
1B - Dmitri Young. You know what, we're starting off with a good one today. Da Meat Hook has been an extremely pleasant surprise this year. He has been one of the few bats in this lineup worth a damn (.296, 1 HR, 4 RBI). By the way, look at how sad those numbers are, and realize Dmitri is currently the star of this team (Zoinks, Scoob...). But, if we're gonna stick to the unfunny and forced premise of this post...
Hey, it could be worse...you could have Adam LaRoche, who also went to a new team this year (the Pirates) and forgot how to hit. 3 hits in 31 ABs, for a cool .097 batting average (throw in 14 Ks and 4 BBs). Yes, I am fully aware that most teams have played fewer than 10 games this year, but blanket generalizations are one of my specialties.
2B - Ronnie Belliard. The only regular hitting above .300, though in very limited at-bats. So, like Dmitri, be happy with him so far, and realize...
Hey, it could be worse...it could still be Jose Vidro, who is a disaster in the Mariners lineup. Bowden might be a moron, but I have no problem with him dumping Vidro on Seattle, especially if Fruto works out.
3B - Ryan Zimmerman. Cornerstone of the franchise. Love the guy...he's athletic AND dreamy. But he has struggled out of the gate (.250, 0 HR, 1 RBI).
Hey, it could be worse...the Nats could have another young third baseman with tons of potential but none of the work ethic of Zimmerman: Edwin Encarnacion, who got benched yesterday for not running out a pop-up. Encarnacion has also failed to live up to expectations for going on three years now, showing zero plate discipline and an extremely suspect glove.
SS - Felipe Lopez. Appears averse to getting on base, which is a real downer, since him stealing a base or two might wake this corpse of a club up. (Wooooow, the Nats have not even ATTEMPTED a stolen base this year...their opponents are 7 for 7.) But (I think you've got the flow now)...
Hey, it could be worse...it could be Cristian Guzman.
Wait for it...
LF - Kory Casto. The rookie is struggling as much as you might imagine.
Hey, it could be worse...it could be Emil Brown of the Royals, who is so terrible he might lose his job to Ross Gload, who I'm betting none of our readers could pick out of a photo array (sorry, too much "Law and Order" last night). At least with Casto there's hope for the future. 33 year old Emil Brown? Not so much.
RF - Austin Kearns. 7 Ks/4 BBs/2 RBI...ugh.
Hey, it could be worse...this one I enjoy a tad too much... it could be Gary Sheffield, who got his way and got his trade, and now can't hit the broad side of a Buick in Detroit. 3 hits in 29 ABs.
CF - Ryan Church ('cause it took Nook half a game to get injured). And look at that, he's hitting .296 with 2 HR and 4 RBI. Well done, Mr. Church. Let's get your mug on a metro bus.
Hey, it could be worse...it could still be Marlon Byrd. Or the vastly overrated Coco Crisp in Boston. My boy Willy Taveras has also seen some early season struggles in Colorado.
C - Brian Schneider. Brian's hitting .111, so give me a second on this one. OK, got it...
Hey, it could be worse...that dick A.J. Pierzynski could be the Nats catcher. What a quality human being he is, and lucky for me, he's hitting .115 with 3 fewer ribbies than Schneider.
Rotation - Patterson, Bergmann, Hill, Chico, Williams. Only Hill has an ERA lower than 4.91... no starter has won a game yet this year... Chico is an epic disaster.
Hey, it could be worse...wow, can it be any worse? As much as I hate to say this, the Yankees starting pitching has been almost as bad, amazingly saved by one good Carl Pavano start. Jeff Weaver could be a National, causing me to stab him in the genitals with a fork. The Giants starters seem atrocious as well, and they might very well be running neck and neck with the Nats all year record-wise. Plus, isn't it fun to root against Barry's team?
Bullpen - Cordero, Bowie, Rauch, Colome (Jesus to you), King, Wagner. On paper, looks good - so far, pretty ugly. But that's OK, they've got a long way to go to catch these guys...
Hey, it could be worse...have you seen what's going on in Philadelphia? I mean, you could probably round up four guys from the bleachers and they would have a better chance of holding a lead. The Phillies bullpen makes the Nats pen look like Hall of Famers. It's a disgrace, which very nicely leads to (where's Captain Segue when you need him?)...
Manager - Manny Acta. I like him, and hope that this impending 45-win season doesn't crush his soul. And I hope his team meeting after last night's loss sparks the club, but I wouldn't count on it.
Hey, it could be worse...Would you rather have a drooling geriatric like Charlie Manuel calling the shots? As an esteemed member of the Gheorghe writing staff once said, Manuel is the Admiral Stockdale of MLB managers. 'Nuff said.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
"ATHENS, Greece - A Greek cruise ship that struck a volcanic reef and forced the evacuation of hundreds of tourists sank on Friday, 15 hours after it began taking on water off the coast of a Mediterranean island. A Frenchman and his daughter were missing, officials said.
Passengers on Thursday climbed down rope ladders to coast guard boats below in a three-hour rescue that involved Greece's military, commercial ships and local fishermen from the island of Santorini. Passengers on the cruise were mostly American, and also included groups from Canada and Spain.
The Sea Diamond struck rocks in the sea-filled crater formed by a volcanic eruption 3,500 years ago. Tourists gathered on clifftop towns and villages to watch the rescue.
The 469-foot Sea Diamond was operated by Louis Cruise Lines, part of a Cyprus-based tourism group. The Merchant Marine Ministry said 1,195 passengers and 391 crew members were on board.
'Whoever is responsible for this will be held accountable in the strictest way,' Tourism Minister Fanny Palli Petralia said. 'Greece is a major tourism destination and incidents like this must not be allowed to occur. ... Authorities handled the rescue very well.'
Authorities on Santorini said they were working to contain a small oil spillage from the sunken ship."
***Meanwhile, halfway around the world, there was eerily similar but more disastrous news...
After leading the Eastern Conference at this season's All-Star break, the Wizards are limping into the playoffs. They could still be bumped from postseason play, mathematically speaking, but although Washington will be lucky to win even one more game this season, with the East comprised mostly of flotsam and other sorts of wreckage, it's unlikely their collapse will be that complete. The Wiz currently possess a 39-35 record with eight regular-season games to play. There is little doubt that they will finish with a losing record, a futile second-half combination of poor play and bad luck.
"WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Put the Hibachi in storage. Gilbert Arenas is essentially done for the season.
The Washington Wizards point guard had surgery Thursday for a left knee injury that will sideline him for two to three months. Even the most optimistic scenario has him coming back only if his team manages to make the NBA finals without him.'You start feeling good about yourself, and then everything goes wrong,' said (the also injured) Caron Butler. 'I'm telling you, we don't need a weight room, we need a preacher.'"
Only the return of a certain 7'7" superhero could save them now . . .
* * *
In life, it's uncanny how frequently such bizarre parallels do occur. Both vessels suffered slow, steady declines that hit their nadir at about the same moment. Of the two events, the sunken cruise liner is reported to have a better chance of successful recovery.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
2007 WNBA DRAFT - ROUND 1:
1. Phoenix Mercury
Lindsey Harding, G, Duke [Traded to Minnesota Lynx]
Phoenix apparently not fond of paying top picks the big bucks. I heard this chick was good at basketball or something, so I guess she's not the Michael Olowokandi of this draft.
2. San Antonio Silver Stars
Jessica Davenport, C, Ohio St. [Traded to New York Liberty]
Pretty good tennis player, not sure if that sort of lateral movement will translate to the basketball court. Also thinks Greg Oden is 65 years old, but she can be believed, as she has seen the "wrinkly body, loose skin and old balls".
3. Chicago Sky
Armintie Price, G, Mississippi
Look...it's not just men's hoops players who have made-up, asinine first names. Kudos to the Price family for the birth certificate debacle.
4. Minnesota Lynx
Noelle Quinn, G, UCLA
Afflalo says she sucks in the sack. Quinn counters by saying Afflalo can't score when it counts.
5. New York Liberty
Tiffany Jackson, F, Texas
I guess she misses out on the Gail Goestenkors (sp?) era? Can you tell this is an enormous stuggle?
6. Washington Mystics
Bernice Mosby, F, Baylor
The dead guy jokes make Rob uncomfortable, so I've got nothing here...except to say, welcome to "F"un Street Bernice, and enjoy the attendance banners.
7. Seattle Storm
Katie Gearlds, G, Purdue
8. Houston Comets
Ashley Shields, G, SW Tennessee C.C.
Really, you can just draft community college players into the WNBA? OK, hand her a basketball...and a Berenstain Bears book.
9. Indiana Fever
Alison Bales, C, Duke
A diminutive contributor to this site claims Bales once made out with World Series MVP David Exckstein. We thrive on unconfirmed rumors here. I don't know where he would've gotten a kissing stool that big, though.
10. Chicago Sky
Carla Thomas, F, Vanderbilt
Carl Thomas, anyone? I think this movie was called Juwanna Man, or something terrible like that. You telling me Kevin Pollak saw that script and yet still agreed to be in that movie? Wooooow.
11. Detroit Shock
Ivory Latta, G, North Carolina
99 44/100 % pure (shooter). The other .56%...well, Shawn Kemp is always a good guess in these instances.
12. Connecticut Sun
Kamesha Hairston, F, Temple
Well, good news...you play in a casino. Bad news...you play in a casino...in bumblefuck Connecticut.
13. Connecticut Sun
Sandrine Gruda, C, France
She's the female Frederic Weis. Really, two picks in a row for the casino franchise? Sounds a little fishy to me (no, stop, don't take that the wrong way...I said "sounds")
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
**Wow, according to this article in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Mallory did practice...twice...before releasing this Ralph Wiggum special. It's a shock Pete Rose's words of wisdom didn't help:
"You imagine the person you hate the most is standing behind the catcher," Rose told Mallory.