Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Struggles of Doc Gooden [J. Mark English]

NEW YORK (AP) - Dwight Gooden hopes his time in jail will help end his two-decade battle with drugs and alcohol, saying he'd "rather get shot than come back here," the New York Post reported Wednesday.

The former Cy Young Award winner is serving a year and a day in a Florida prison for violating his probation by using cocaine.

"You keep asking yourself, 'What went wrong? What went wrong?"' he told the Post in his first interview from prison.

Gooden, 41, is looking forward to the day he is released, which could come as early as November. He also insists he will stay clean and sober this time.

"I can't come back here," he said. "I'd rather get shot than come back here. ... If I don't get the message this time, I never will."

Gooden was serving three years' probation for speeding from police during a drunken driving traffic stop last year when he failed a drug test and acknowledged to a probation officer that he used cocaine. He chose a prison sentence over reinstatement of his probation, which would have meant the prospect of five years behind bars if he violated it again....

Your Daily Fix 5.31.06 [J. Mark English]

Lee Jenkins Reflects On Kazmir [J. Mark English]

Lee Jenkins, New York Times -

Four out of every five days, the Mets are a resurgent franchise, flush with charismatic leaders and bankable stars, hailed for their progressive thinking and bold strategy.
But on the fifth day, when Scott Kazmir takes the mound for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, everything the Mets have accomplished comes temporarily undone. No longer are they the team that leads the National League East. They are only the team that traded Kazmir for damaged goods named Víctor Zambrano.
The trade was bad enough, with Kazmir possibly bound for the All-Star Game and Zambrano out for the season because of elbow surgery. But add to the package all the teasing, tweaking and public flogging the Mets have endured, and maybe it really was their worst deal since they sent Nolan Ryan to the Angels for Jim Fregosi in 1971.
"It's unbelievable they are still talking about it," said Kazmir, who will pitch tomorrow night in Baltimore. "It's still going on."
For the third straight summer, the Mets are being bombarded by the same question, as if played on an endless talk-radio loop. "Where would you be if you had not made that (fill in the blank) trade?"
Theoretically, they would be World Series favorites, with a starting rotation as strong as its batting order and a young ace to complement an old one. But just as easily, they could have continued down the path they were on at the time of the trade, trusting oversized committees to make personnel decisions and a disorganized medical staff to offer approval...

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

New York Mets Call Up Lastings Milledge [J. Mark English]

Incredibly I actually have tickets to tomorrow's game where for the first time, Lastings Milledge may walk out on the field of Shea in uniform!

NEW YORK (AP) -- Top prospect Lastings Milledge was called up by the New York Mets on Tuesday after starting right fielder Xavier Nady was placed on the disabled list following an appendectomy earlier in the day.
Milledge was penciled in the starting lineup, playing right field and batting eighth. Because of travel difficulties, he still hadn't gotten to Shea Stadium two hours before the scheduled first pitch.
The arrival of the 21-year-old Milledge from Triple-A Norfolk has been greatly anticipated by fans in New York since the highly regarded outfielder was chosen with the No. 12 pick in the first round of the 2003 draft.
Milledge, drafted out of high school in Bradenton, Fla., batted .291 (53-182) with four home runs, 19 RBIs and four stolen bases in 50 games this season with Norfolk. He also had 16 doubles and 32 runs scored.
He impressed Mets brass in spring training, where he batted .327 in 23 games.

Photos of the Day: New York, New York [J. Mark English]

Your Daily Fix 5.30.06 [J. Mark English]

  • Dwyane Wade leads the Heat to a decisive win over the Pistons.
  • Charley Rosen has two big reasons why the Pistons are down 3-1.
  • Pujols catapults the Cards to a 3-1 over the 'Stros with a three run homer.
  • Jim Thome & company batter around the Tribe.
  • NCAA baseball tournament field is announced.
  • Big Unit flirts with a no-hitter and leads the Yankes to victory.
  • Wright does it again for the "Cardiac" Mets.
  • Rafael Nadal sets clay record.
  • Martina Hingis continues to roll in France.
  • Duke who? Virginia finished undefeated, and wins the NCAA Lacrosse Championship.
  • Andretti the Third set to make his mark on the racing world.
  • Al Strachan expresses kudos to 'Canes coach Laviolette.
  • New York Giants cut Will Peterson, sign QB Rob Johnson.
  • Len Pasquarelli tells all about the numerous unsigned vets in the NFL.
  • Ricky Williams 'survived' first day of practice with the Argonauts.
  • Finally, if you can't finish high school, no worries...go right on to college.

Monday, May 29, 2006

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY: Thank You to All Who Serve

Although numbers are not easy to come by, the National Baseball Hall of Fame has derived some telling statistics. In the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor, more than 500 major leaguers served during the war, including 29 who would eventually be elected to the Hall of Fame. Five Hall of Famers served during the war in Korea...
...Professional football players answered the call as well. Of the 638 NFL players who served in World War II, 355 were commissioned as officers, 66 were decorated, and 21 lost their lives...
The military newspaper Stars and Stripes estimated that 800 sports stars, at both the collegiate and professional level, were killed during World War II. Marine Corps athletes, more than any other branch of the military, have carved out a record of bravery and a tradition of excellence on playing fields, in sports arenas and in the numerous theaters of combat in which they served...
....Baseball, the national pastime, produced its share of Marines whose lives were seared by the fire of combat. Knowledgeable sports fans know that Ted Williams served two tours as a Marine pilot, flew 39 combat missions in Korea, and, in the process, lost five years of his professional baseball career to military service. Likewise, Marine pilot Lloyd Merriman, a less heralded player of the same era, posted one of the most impressive combat-flying records of the Korean War. Merriman played outfield for three seasons with the Cincinnati Reds before being called to active duty, serving with Marine Fighter Squadron 115...
...Legendary Brooklyn Dodgers first baseman and New York Mets manager Gil Hodges, who hit 370 home runs over an 18-year major-league career, was a Marine option in the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program before he was called to active duty...
...Hodges served with the 16th Antiaircraft Bn, and during the 18 months he was stationed in the South Pacific, he saw action on Tinian and Okinawa. Hodges was promoted to sergeant during the war and received a Bronze Star. He also earned a Combat Action Ribbon, but never gained the recognition he deserved for that honor until he posthumously received the award in June 2004. At a presentation ceremony held at Shea Stadium, his wife said, “He was so proud to be an American and so proud to be a Marine.”
...Another was New York Giants end Jack Lummus, who was killed on Iwo Jima when he stepped on a land mine after single-handedly taking out a Japanese gun emplacement. “I guess the New York Giants have lost the services of a damned good end” were reported to be his last words to a battlefield surgeon...
...President Harry Truman awarded Lummus the Medal of Honor posthumously. Marine Corps football maven Colonel John Gunn, USMCR (Ret) noted that a plaque honoring Lummus was unveiled at the Polo Grounds, then the home of the football Giants, in October 1945, eight months after the 29-year-old Marine lieutenant was killed. Interestingly, the bronze plaque has not been seen since 1964 when the Polo Grounds was torn down. (Given Lummus’ conspicuous sacrifice, it would be appropriate for the Giants and the NFL to replace the plaque in memory of the heroic Marine lieutenant.)
...What these Marines achieved while serving in the Corps deserves as much recognition as what they accomplished in their respective athletic undertakings. In a society where sports is such an integral aspect of life, the careers of these Marine athletes suggest that a new perspective and reappraisal of national values is greatly overdue.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Your Evening Fix 5.28.06 [J. Mark English]

  • United States edges Latvia in a World Cup tune up.
  • Gilbert Arenas arrested for disobeying police.
  • Jay Haas wins Senior PGA playoff for first major title.
  • Beltran helps insure Hernandez of first win as a Met.
  • Atlanta Braves hit eight homers in win over the Cubs.
  • Ricky Williams signs with the Toronto Argonauts.
  • Tony Stewart taken to the hospital for the second straight day.
  • Craig "Ironhead" Heyward dead at the age of 39.
  • Federer, and Sharapova survive early French tests.
  • Finally, Pope Benedict XVI, in visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp, asks: "In a place like this, words fail; in the end, there can be only a dread silence, a silence which itself is a heartfelt cry to God: Why, Lord, did you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this?"

715: Bonds Passes the Babe [J. Mark English]

Photo of the Day: Sam Hornish, Jr. Wins in Indy [J. Mark English]

Welcome Back Edmonton [J. Mark English]

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Anaheim Mighty Ducks outshot the Edmonton Oilers in every game of the Western Conference finals. What the Oilers did with all those shots -- blocking, screening and clogging the shooting lanes -- proved the difference.
Raffi Torres scored the go-ahead goal on a tipped shot in the second period, helping Edmonton eliminate the Ducks 2-1 Saturday night and advance to the Stanley Cup finals.
The eighth-seeded Oilers won the conference finals 4-1 and will play for the Cup for the first time since winning it in 1990 for the fifth time in seven seasons.
"This team is similar to our 1990 team because this is so unexpected and we have good goal scoring," said Oilers coach Craig MacTavish, who played on that squad. "Our goaltending was terrific the whole series. Our special teams were outstanding. This is the third series we have won that battle."
Edmonton awaits either Carolina or Buffalo, whose Eastern Conference finals series is tied 2-2. The Oilers are the lowest-seeded team to ever reach the finals in the current playoff format.

Heat beat the Pistons and lead the series 2-1 [Jay Moussab]

In game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals the Miami Heat beat the Detroit Pistons 98 to 83. Shaq had 27 points on 11-15 shooting with 12 rebounds. Dwayne Wade had 35 points on 13-17 shooting.
Chauncey Billups was the only bright spot for the Detroit Pistons. He had 31 points on 11-17 shooting. Richard Hamilton had 20 points on 6-15 shooting. He also had 8 points from the line (8-8).
For a recap of the game go to Yahoo Sports.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Photo of the Day: The Bigger They Are... [J. Mark English]

Your Daily Fix 5.27.06 [J. Mark English]

  • NFL mulls having two regular season games abroad.
  • Chicago Cubs catcher, Michael Barrett, handed down a 10 game suspension by MLB, among others in respons to last weekends brawl.
  • Tim Tuttle on the biggest issues Danica Patrick coming into the Indy 500 tomorrow.
  • Chargers, San Diego to talk turkey and new stadium ideas.
  • Kansas City Royals offer GM job to the Braves Dayton Moore.
  • Royals end their losing streak last night at the expense of the Yankees. But Derek Jeter smacked hit number 2,000.
  • Brandon Webb continues to be the surprise of the year as he approves to 8-0.
  • Mavs even series against the Suns.
  • Ken Rosenthal on the success of the Dodgers farm system.
  • David Wells injured his knee last night. Can this mean Clemens is a step closer to being a Red Sox again?
  • Dennis Dodd reports on NCAA football coaches and their attempt to start pushback against new transfer rules.
  • Hurricanes tie up series against the Sabres.
  • Grand Prix driver Michael Schumacher denies that he cheated.
  • Finally, at least 3,000 have perished in the quake that hit Indonesia.

'Tis the Last Rose of Summer [J. Mark English]

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) The mother of a boy granted a dying wish to call a football play for Notre Dame died eight months after her son.
Cathy Mazurkiewicz died Wednesday at 46 at her parents' home in Bodfish, Calif., of melanoma, said her daughter, Katrin Seymour. Mazurkiewicz' son, Montana, 10, died of inoperable brain cancer.
"Me and my sister were with her," Seymour said. "She took a few soft breaths, gave a smile, then she was gone."
Mazurkiewicz, the mother of six children, knew her health was failing when her son died but kept it quiet.
"When she was taking care of Montana she hardly had time to focus on her own illness," said Seymour, who lives in Alhambra, Calif., east of Los Angeles.
Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis visited Montana Mazurkiewicz in Mishawaka, outside South Bend, last September before Notre Dame played Washington. Weis asked if there was something he could do, and he agreed to let Montana call the first play against Washington. Montana called "pass right."
Weis called for a pass right on the first play of the game even though the Irish started on their own 1-yard line. Tight end Anthony Fasano caught the pass and leapt over a defender for a 13-yard gain.
Montana never got to see the play, though. He had died the day before.
Cathy Mazurkiewicz said after the game that she couldn't believe Weis called the play after the Irish started with their backs to the goal line.
"It was an amazing play. Montana would have been very pleased. I was very pleased," she said. "I was just so overwhelmed. I couldn't watch much more."
Notre Dame won the game at Seattle, 36-17.
Mazurkiewicz moved near Seymour shortly after Montana died.
Seymour said Mazurkiewicz was as big a fan of Notre Dame as Montana was.
"In fact she had two tattoos," she said.
Seymour said her mother's death came almost as a relief.
"She struggled for a long time with pain and disability," she said. "It was a blessing to see she was at peace."
A memorial service is planned for June 3, Seymour said.

I Once Caught A Fish This Big...[J. Mark English]

Fishing Capt. Bucky Dennis has been trying to catch a record hammerhead shark for 10 years. He may have finally succeeded.
On Tuesday, he reeled in a monstrous 1,280-pounder that ate a 25-pound stingray for bait at Boca Grande Pass near Fort Myers. That would beat by nearly 300 pounds the current all-tackle world record for a hammerhead shark.
Dennis, who was using 130-pound test line, and three friends fought the 14 1/2 foot shark for five hours and it dragged his boat about 12 miles offshore before they got it aboard.
"It's fun hooking them, but if you get too close, they will bite," Dennis said. "And whatever they bite, they will bite off."

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Photo of the Day: Take One Last Look [J. Mark English]

Your Evening Fix 5.25.06 [J. Mark English]

  • Ray Shero has been hired to be the Penguins new GM.
  • Cleveland Browns running back Reuben Droughns released on bail.
  • Jayson Stark and the Albert Pujols year.
  • Sabres Henrik Tallinder out for the rest of the playoffs.
  • Wayne Gretzky's wife, Janet Jones, threatens to sue NJ for $50 million, along with Rick Tocchet.
  • Kelvin Sampson of Indiana University is handed a one year recruiting ban.
  • Better not run up the score in Connecticut if you coach high school football. - - quick comment.... "Coach I can score on this play"..."Johnny, you better not or you'll cause our team to suffer"... Why are they punishing success?
  • American pitcher Rick Guttormson throws a no-hitter in the Japan.
  • Mets acquired Dave Williams from the Cincinnati Reds. They also managed to lose 5-3 against the Phils today.
  • Suns upend the Mavs in game one.
  • Jim Trimble dies at the age of 87.
  • Charles Robinson on why the NFL really loves the City of Angels.
  • Are you ready for some World League Football action?
  • Finally, Kenneth Lay of Enron (along with Skilling) has been convicted on conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Your Evening Fix 5.24.06 [J. Mark English]

  • Mets acquired Orlando Hernandez from the D-Backs in exchange for Jorge Julio. (That would be Kris & Anna Benson for El-Duque) Welcome back to New York Duque...
  • Randy Johnson has just tried to brush off the Sox batters, but matter they are down 2-0. Good news for the Yanks, Sheffield is hitting DH.
  • Bernardini will skip the Preakness.
  • Poor Reggie Bush will not be able to wear number five.
  • NFL owners will have a three month process to pick new commish.
  • This could mean no job for Jeb Bush, as he won't consider such a move until the end of his term.
  • Mark Simon on the memorable Mets.
  • Mark Mravic says America should not panic about USA lost.
  • Heat are up 1-0 against the Pistons.
  • Want to buy a Texas Championship Ring?

Adam LaRoche and ADD[J. Mark English]

On Sunday, after scooping up a routine grounder that should have been the third out of the inning, LaRoche took his time getting to first and was stunningly beaten to the bag by Washington's Nick Johnson, who was hustling all the way.
Standing at his locker beforehand, LaRoche stressed that he doesn't want to blame attention deficit disorder for his mental blunder. He was diagnosed with the condition in high school, and it would be easy enough to stamp a medical explanation on Sunday's boneheaded play.
"I just need to pick it up a step," LaRoche said. "If I was going to blame this on ADD, I would need go get some medicine to treat it. But that had nothing to do with it."
An admirable stance, to be sure, but a leading expert on ADD believes that LaRoche should take this opportunity to address an issue that is surely having an impact on his life — and perhaps serve as an inspiration to others with the disorder.
"A lot of people with ADD try to hide their symptoms," said Dr. Patricia Quinn, a Washington, D.C., pediatrician who has studied the condition for more than 30 years. "They tend to suffer in silence. No one knows they're having a problem. But when you're in the spotlight like he is, playing a game in front of all those people, the symptoms come out where everybody can see it."

Commissioner Jeb Bush? [J. Mark English]

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said he was privately approached about his interest in becoming the NFL's next commissioner.
If the NFL could pull off this coup, they would be putting themselves into a great position for continued success. One of the reasons the NFL has had such trouble finding a replacement for Paul Tagliabue is because of the tremendous responsiblity the commish has towards a variety of different owners, and team needs.
The British week magazine, the Economist details the skills needed to fight the battles a commissioner must wage:
Although the 65-year-old Mr Tagliabue cannot run, catch or throw with any grace, he is in many ways the league's most valuable player. Whereas picking the right athlete on draft day can give a team an edge over its rivals for a few years, the skilful commissioner has helped the entire league to establish lasting dominance over competing providers of sports and entertainment. Condoleezza Rice has long said that she covets the job; but sadly for Miss Rice, she has other duties at the moment. Whoever the owners choose, however, will need a diplomat's ability to mix coercion and consensus, since the commissioner's job is to sustain one of the world's most effective cartels...
...That is where leadership and luck come in. The hockey league's commissioner, Gary Bettman, is not nearly as adept or respected as Mr Tagliabue—who deftly thrashed out a bargain recently to renew the labour and revenue-sharing system for several more years—and was thus unable to forge a better deal. The NFL is also lucky—and its athletes much less so—because it is the most violent of the four sports. Since the average player does not last more than four years as a professional, labour strikes are difficult and the union is weak...
...Like any good syndicate, the NFL under Mr Tagliabue has also mastered politics. Mr Vrooman points out that the league likes to leave one prominent city without a football franchise, “like an empty seat in musical chairs”, so that teams in other cities can threaten to move if they do not get their way. This invariably prompts state and local governments to contribute public money to help teams that replace old stadiums with new ones. Los Angeles residents have been scratching their heads about why the country's second-largest city has had no football team since 1994. But the NFL has made far more money from new stadiums that have been built using Los Angeles as a threat, says Mr Vrooman, than it could have made by actually putting a team there. There is a lesson in all this for Mr Tagliabue's successor: competition is nice, but if you want it to be profitable, it helps to write your own rules.
Who better to do this job then a Governor who can multi-task a big operation and do it with tremendous consensus. Jeb Bush currently has a fifty five percent approval rating, despite his brothers low poll numbers. He was given credit for guiding the state through a slew of hurricanes over the past few years. As a candidate he won re-election with 56% of the vote.
Alas, the Governor cannot run again, due to term limits. What a perfect retirement present...the NFL.

Beltran Tucks the Mets Into Bed! [J. Mark English]

What a game! The New York Mets win after 16 grueling innings. Carlos Beltran hits the walk off homerun, at around 12:34 am, after five plus hours (first time all year a game has gone over five hours). Darren Oliver gets the win, and Ryan Madson gets the loss. Madson only pitched seven plus innings, had six strikeouts...and this all in relief. This game may not have even gotten to the 16th, if it was not for a critical double play by Jose Reyes in the 14th.

Hopefully the Mets can pick up their second win of the day when they play at 7:00 pm. Not your normal double header mind you, but it counts doesn't it? Be that as it may, tomorrow they're going with the rookie pitcher Alay Soler so there will be little rest for the bullpen.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Your Evening Fix 5.23.06 [J. Mark English]

Barbaro: Do We Care Too Much? [J. Mark English]

Jane Schwarz, author of "Ruffian: Burning From the Start" wrote a sappy piece in the New York Times yesterday, giving explanation as to why we care about animals when they are injured. She writes:
No one wants to see a racehorse break down. The most hardened trainers and the most avid fans seem to agree on this much: A horse has to win, but nobody wants to see one die trying...
...Horse racing is as competitive as any sport ever invented. Trainers use psychological tricks to try to outsmart the competition. Before the continuous monitoring of races, jockeys would poke, pull, kick and whip one another down the stretch in attempts to gain the lead.
But when their horses are hurt and have to be destroyed, it breaks their hearts...
...At the medical center where Barbaro was being treated, people left signs for the colt, expressing their love for him.
Perhaps the real miracle — the one that matters to all of us, whether we know it or not — is that so many of us are still capable of caring so much.
Still wiping the tears away? It is just a horse! No one knew the name of this horse until a few weeks ago, and all of sudden people are leaving signs for a four legged animal? Save those cards for soldiers who are returning from war. Support the Our Fallen Heroes Foundation, or the Fallen Heroes fund.
The New York Times claims on its cover that it has "All the News thats Fit to Print"... And they print a hyper sensitive animal loving story in place of perhaps printing something much more important in regards to world affairs? Get over it Jane Schwartz. We may want to care so much about this horse, but do you really think it gives a damn about us?

Photo of the Day: 06 U.S. Winter Olympic and Paralympic Teams Honored

Monday, May 22, 2006

NOLA Pro Sports on the Rise [J. Mark English]

This picture was taken yesterday on the way to the airport. The Superdome is being given a makeover as it prepares to host its first NFL game since 2004.
Meanwhile, the NBA has announced plans that Big Easy will be hosting the NBA All-Star game in 2008:
New Orleans has been selected as the site of NBA All-Star 2008, it was announced today by NBA Commissioner David Stern. The 57th All-Star Game will be played at New Orleans Arena, home of the NBA’s Hornets, on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2008. The game will be televised on TNT in the United States and will reach a worldwide television audience in more than 200 countries.

Sopranos Guest Star [J. Mark English]

Last night's episode of the Sopranos featured a guest star close to the heart of Met fans. Ed Coleman of WFAN, and host of Mets Extra could be overheard on the radio at Satriale's.

Joy 38,000 Feet in the Air [J. Mark English]

What a difference a day makes, and one flight makes. When Derek Jeter hit the ball to put the Yanks up 2-0, the plane erupted with applause. Those not watching were scared to death by the spontaneous noise. Obnoxious Yankee fans thought they were on their way to watching the Mets loose again.
Then the plane touches down on the tarmac. Pulling into the gate, Delgado hits it out, putting the Mets up 3-2. There were at best four Met fans on the flight, and we all broke out into a suffering cheer for the Mets.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Flying Home [J. Mark English]

Lets hope its a better flight home to New York. ESPN on JET Blue, Mets vs. Yankees...and if the Mets have a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the 8th you can be sure that Heilman will come in to set up Sanchez who will be the closer. I'll update the site tonight.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

New Orleans: Mayor Ray Nagin Wins [J. Mark English]

Just spent my whole evening trying to get over my terrible flight. And so I'm going to continue to stay away from sports for one more post, and just relay that Mayor Ray "chocolate" Nagin won re-election, and will have the next four years to re-unite the Big Easy.
Mayor Ray Nagin, whose shoot-from-the-hip style was both praised and scorned after Hurricane Katrina, narrowly won re-election over Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu on Saturday in the race to oversee one of the biggest rebuilding projects in U.S. history.
With 84 percent of precincts reporting, Nagin had 52.7 percent, or 51,885 votes, to Landrieu's 47.3 percent, or 46,625 votes.

Some Thoughts as Bonds Bags the Babe [Jarrett Conner]

Below are a few links to some smart folks pondering various kinds of performance "enhancement" and the problems that come along with them.

These are from well before the Barry Bonds saga (or his 714th home run) in its current form, but still applicable:

Michael Sandel, "What's Wrong with Enhancement"
And the subsequent discussion by some smart folks on the Council for Bioethics:
Discussion of "What's Wrong with Enhancement"

And for a broad consideration of improvement technologies:
Leon Kass, Beyond Therapy

Again, these things were written before Bonds bagged the Babe, but it lends a lot of serious thought and philosophical credence to what many of us are thinking . . .

This stinks.

And Just Where Was I Flying? [J. Mark English]

To the Crescent City, the great city of New Orleans, where I am to be the Godfather of my Niece, Maria Ann English. Today is also a historical day because the people of this city are electing a mayor. Here is the latest...
Voters were deciding Saturday whether incumbent Mayor Ray Nagin or challenger Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu should oversee this city's long recovery from Hurricane Katrina - one of the largest reconstruction projects in U.S. history.
Whoever wins the election takes office a day before the June 1 start of the next hurricane season in a city where streets are still strewn with rusting, mud-covered cars and entire neighborhoods consist of homes that are empty shells.
"I want the city to come back," said 61-year-old Alice Howard, an evacuee who returned by bus from Houston to cast her ballot. "This is my city. This is home to me. ... I want to make sure the correct person takes care of home."
Howard and 250 other evacuees wearing "Displaced Voter" T-shirts were greeted by a jazz band at a City Hall rally with Nagin and Landrieu.
The candidates embraced when they met, reflecting the civil tone of a race where there has been little disagreement on the major issues: the right of residents to rebuild in all areas and the urgent need for federal aid for recovery and the best possible levee protection.

Photo of the Day: Barry, Meet the Babe [J. Mark English]

Preakness Final [J. Mark English]

No triple crown this year. Barbaro broke down out of the gates, and Bernardini went on to win the $1 million Preakness Stakes.

Lousy Flight; Thank You Mets [J. Mark English]

Arrived at JFK today, walked through security at JET Blue Terminal, and I'm set to watch the Mets take on the Yankees. Sitting at the bar in the terminal, the Mets jump out to a quick lead, thanks to a double by Wright.
I'm on the plane. Shortly after take off, the monitor allows me to see the game from the ultimate sky box. A portly man many rows ahead is wearing a oversized Jeter jersey, hanging his head. My arms nearly knock the flight attendant to the ground when I raise them in delight after Cliff Floyd's homerun.
My jaw is in pain...Billy Wagner is called in (not to save) but to put the hammer down. He walks this guy, lets this guy get a hit, hits this guy...and all of a sudden. Tied game.
11th innning now, my face, the same color of that annoying Yankee fans jersey. Is this really happening? Rivera, the "Sandman" gets the save.
Shortly after the Mets handed their gift packaged win over to the Yankees...we experienced 15 minutes of the worst turbulence....

Your Preakness Fix 5.20.06 [J. Mark English]

Your Daily Fix 5.20.06 [J. Mark English]

Photo of the Night: Wright Leads the Way [J. Mark English]

Friday, May 19, 2006

Pistons Force Game 7, MLB Wrap Up [Jay Moussab]

The Detroit Pistons have forced a game 7 which will be held Sunday at 3:30 in the Palace of Auburn Hills. The Pistons grabbed 8 offensive rebounds in the 4th quarter that helped seal the victory for them. Rasheed Wallace was the Pistons leading scorer with 24 points, 4 assists and 2 rebounds. LeBron James was 8-20 with 32 points, 5 assists and 11 rebounds. If there are any encouraging signs for the Cavs it is that Larry Hughes has rejoined the team and should start Sunday for them.
The first day for interleague play was great. Well atleast if you're a Mets, Red Sox, White Sox and Houston fan. Mets beat the Yanks 7-6 on a David Wright walk off single off of Mariano Rivera. As for Billy Wagner well lets just say he is back. He struck out the heart of the order in the 9th (Giambi, A-Rod, and Stinnett). The Red Sox beat the Phils 5-3, White Sox beat the Cubs 6-1 and Houston took care of the Rangers 5-3.

Your Evening Fix 5.19.06 [J. Mark English]

  • Oklahoma State says goodbye to Eddie Sutton and hello Sean Sutton.
  • Carl Pavano will require elbow surgery.
  • Russ Springer suspended for throwing at Barry Bonds. Astros will not appeal.
  • Barbaro leaves for Preakness.
  • John Donovan on Interleague play at age 10.
  • Sean McAdam argues at ESPN that the best way to improve revenue is to win, not build a new stadium.
  • Melvin Mora gets a three year contract extension worth $25 million.
  • Tony Mejia sets you up for tonights critical NBA playoff matchups.
  • Michigan Stadium due to get a face lift for just a mere $226 million.
  • Finally tonight, in the traditional non related sports item, Fidel Castro's doctor declares the dictator will live to 140. I'm so sorry Cuba.

Good Luck Getting to Shea [J. Mark English]

If you're just turning on the Mets game and you notice an unusual number of empty seats, its probably because most people aren't able to get to the stadium. This is the latest...

Hazing Update: My Alma Mater [J. Mark English]

I had the great fortune of attending Catholic University of America. Our little known enclave near some of the most seedy spots in Washington, D.C. best sports moment came in 2001 when the CUA basketball team won the NCAA Division III National Championship.
The team just barely made headlines after that occured. This might change now due to the female lacrosse team.
Catholic University along with Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn...."are investigating sports teams after photographs allegedly depicting student-athletes taking part in initiation parties were posted on a Web site..." according to ESPN.
ESPN goes on to say:
The Web site on Wednesday posted those pictures and others, allegedly of athletic teams at 12 colleges and universities, showing hazing or initiation rituals from 2003 to 2006. It labeled them the "Dirty Dozen."
Catholic is investigating its women's lacrosse program after photos were posted on the Internet allegedly showing a male stripper at a freshman initiation party. And Quinnipiac is looking into photos allegedly taken during an "initiation party" for members of the school's baseball team depicting men dancing around in underwear and adult diapers and spraying whipped cream on a woman who is lying on the floor.
"If the evidence demonstrates that any of our current students willingly participated in these activities, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken," Catholic athletic director Michael Allen said in a statement.
Allen said that neither he nor coach Kristine Manning was aware of the party until Wednesday morning. He said an investigation began immediately.
"The president and I will meet with all the coaches at the university to discuss additional measures and policies that we can implement to ensure that in the future this kind of deplorable situation does not occur with any of the students at The Catholic University of America," the statement said.
The photos were posted on a Web site under the heading "Catholic University Women's Lacrosse Initiation Party 2006." The site doesn't say when or where the party was held.

Interleague starts Friday; Clippers force Game 7 [Jay Moussab]

Interleague starts Friday with the NY Mets (Jeremi Gonzalez) vs. the NY Yankees (Randy Johnson). Other notable games are the Boston Red Sox (Matt Clement) vs. the Philadelphia Phillies (Jon Lieber), Oakland A's (Dan Haren) vs. the SF Giants (Noah Lowry), and the Chicago Cubs (Gred Maddux) vs. the Chicago White Sox (Mark Buehrle). Barry Bonds will serve as the DH for the 3 games and all the interleague games that allow him to be the DH.
The LA Clippers have forced a game 7 with a 118-106 win. Game 7 will be Monday in Phoenix. Quinton Ross scored a career high not only in the postseason but also in the regular season with 18 points 16 coming in the first half. Elton Brand had a double double with 30 points (14-21 shooting) and 12 rebounds. Steve Nash did not look like he just won the MVP. He shot 6-16 with 17 points and shot 2-5 behind the arc. The Clippers out rebounded the Suns by 20 (48-28) which will not win you games. For a recap of the game go to Sports Yahoo.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Your Evening Fix 5.18.06

  • Cavaliers have the Pistons on the ropes...of course the Pistons have been here before...a few years ago against the Nets they overcame a 3-2 defecit and went on to win the championship.
  • Brian Bannister exits Norfolk Tides start after five pitches.
  • Judge Ronald L. Stephens won't fast-track Duke trial.
  • Jim Tressel agrees to a new seven year deal with the Buckeyes.
  • NBA suspends Jason Terry for one game.
  • Detroit Tigers are riding a seven game winning streak.
  • Kerry Wood gives up three Nats homers in debut.
  • MLB approves $450 million sale of the Nats.
  • Czech Republic earn a semifinal spot at the World Hockey Championship.
  • It appears Bud Selig has good instincts...
  • Wes Goldstein discusses the 'new NHL' classic in the East.
  • Georgia Tech appeal reinstates 1998 results.
  • Jack McCallum believes game 5 between the Suns-Clips should be a classic.
  • Finally, in a non sports related matter, Lillian Gertrud Asplund, the last Titanic survivor living in the United States, died at the age of 99.

Tune Ups for Subway Series Go South

The New York Mets lost by the score of 6-3 at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals. That leaves them at 3-6 for their road trip heading into Shea to play the Yanks.

Yankees took a split today in the Bronx against the Texas Rangers.

Next up for both teams, the Subway Series, round one.

Haze of the Week: Courtesy of

Athletic Hazing Update 5.18.06

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reporting on college athletes behaving badly:

The indiscretions of college students — whether it is binge drinking, cheating or hazing — may be old school, but universities now face the new reality that their students' misbehavior will eventually be exposed on the Internet.
This new challenge to college administrators was underscored this week when the Web site posted photographs from a hazing by the Northwestern women's soccer team, leading to the team's suspension. Yesterday, followed up with photos from freshman, varsity and club team initiations at 12 other colleges, complete with links to the teams' rosters. plucked and collated the often disturbing photos from, a site where students post and share thousands of pictures covering a variety of activities.
"This isn't just a fraternity thing or something we should elbow ourselves and chuckle about," said Bob Reno, who added hazing photographs last year to, which he founded in 2000. "People are getting hurt."

An Interview with Matt Cerrone

This past evening, Matt Cerrone of Metsblog was generous to lend his time to have a conversation with me about the sports blogosphere:
J. Mark English: Alright, well first of all thank you for taking your time to talk to me, especially in the middle of a pitchers duel with the Mets and the Cards.
Matt Cerrone: I'm actually not watching the game right now. I typically TiVo it and watch it later.
J. Mark English: Well I'll try not to ruin it for you then...What was the origins of Metsblog?
Matt Cerrone: I started MetsBlog as a project in a digital media class in college. When the class ended, I stopped writing it. In the weeks that followed, I received a numbers of emails from people outside the class, in New York, apparently, that had been reading it, asking me why I stopped. I figured, there is an audience here, and I enjoy it, so I'll keep it going. I think I had, maybe, 100 readers. Today the site can reach close to 70,000 in a day, as it did during the winter meetings, though a typical day is around 15,000 readers.
J. Mark English: That is a staggering amount of readers...and I noticed on your site you said that you are working as a freelance media strategist...but your intention was to finish a degree in journalism. Why have the degree if your already in the business?
Matt Cerrone: Hahaha. Good question. It's funny, people would always ask me what I wanted to do, and I would say I want to be a writer. And writers would tell me, and you see this in any How To Be a Writer type book, that the best way to get there is to write. Just write. Doesn't matter what. Just do it. And read people whose writing you enjoy, and pay attention to the craft. So, yeah, I suppose college is an odd thing, because I do think if you want to be a reporter, you HAVE to go to school, in some capacity. But there is no substitute for just sitting at your laptop and finding your voice on your own. For me, I am a wonk, I'm a politics junkie. I enjoy political media strategy, and for that, I would certainly need a degree, so I chose Journalism as a way to connect it all.
J. Mark English: So do you see yourself branching off of just sports and eventually writing for a newspaper on political news/national news?
Matt Cerrone: Not really. I don't think I would be very good on a beat like that. My brain doesn't work in that fashion. I am more slow paced, and I like the How's and Why's of things. i don't think I could report facts like that. I admire the hell out of guys like Adam Rubin (Daily News), David Lennon (Newsday), Steve Popper (Bergen Record) and Lee Jenkins (NYT) who I think have a tremendous abiliy to make those daily facts seem storylike. I can't do that.
So, yes, I would want to work in a field other than sports when all is said and done. In what capacity, I am not sure. I try not to think too far in advance. Life has too many curve balls it seems.
J. Mark English: I'm assuming you read the Chris Ballard piece on sports bloggers. To me, it seemed he had an air of arrogance as a member of the "mainstream" sports media, but you seem to show tremendous respect for the journalist who take the "traditional" route to get where they write. How should teams PR offices treat bloggers? On the same level of journalist? What measurements should they use? Do you find that the Mets PR office gives you access that most journalist would get as well? Or are you treated differently?
Matt Cerrone: For starters, I repect anyone who can write well. It's so difficult to keep a readers attention and I think a lot of people take it for granted that just because they put words on a screen that someone will read them. It's not that simple. So regardless of what the writer does for a living, I think you have to respect them.
I know the article you are talking about, and my biggest problem with it, as I have argued before, Is that there is a significant difference between the idea of a blogger and the medium itself. The medium is used by traditional journalists. It's used by Microsoft to disseminate corporate memos. It's just a tool.
Rubin and Lennon have blogs, you know. I don't see their colleagues shunning them because they are now bloggers.
So when an article like that comes out, it is a clearly paranoia - and the mainstream media should be paranoid. The Internet allows for the empowerment of anyone with a computer. That can be a scary thing for those who are used to being in control. It's funny, because when a new blog about the Mets pops up, I feel it - I become the one who is paranoid. It's a natural cycle. But the key for the mainstream press is how will they adapt and utilize these people who are now empowered, who can help increase their content.
And that's my problem with the Mets, and more so with Major League Baseball. The Mets are an old school public relations type organization. And that's okay. In New York, it can't be easy having so much media breathing down its neck all of the time. I have worked in that field and it's frustrating beyond belief. I understand what they are up against. On the flip side, they can't keep ignoring what is a terrific grassroots tool for them. They are aware of the medium, but they have yet to really grab hold of it and part of that is because MLB is doing this MLBlogs thing and trying to capitalize on the fad of blogs. The problem with that is that you can't contain the Internet, no matter how you try.
J. Mark English: The theme here really seems to be control. In 1998, when McGuire and Sosa were going back and forth, bloggers were not a part of the coverage. MLB had so much positive coverage during that year that it was overwhelming. But now with the release of "Game of Shadows" it turns out that the season that saved baseball may have been only because of the use of steroids. Some think that the mainstream media is partially to blame. But MLB could control things then... Now it may not have that control anymore, possibly because of bloggers like yourself. Do you think that it will now be harder for MLB to pull the rug over peoples eyes because of the blogging industry, and that is what MLB and the mainstream media fear the most?
Matt Cerrone: This is tough issue, because unlike in politics, where the media serves as a check on our government, the sports media is really just there to report the event, and its typically being done by people who are, or were fans.
This is not to say a random beat reporter is incapable of breaking a story about the seedy underbelly of MLB, I just don't think they're necessarily looking for it on a daily basis.
Honestly, I don't think MLB fears the blogosphere the way politicians do. The funny thing is, though, I wish MLB would take a queue from the political world and, as I mentioned before, embrace the empowered fan.
I agree, though, that it will be harder to pull the rug over our eyes, as you put it - if for no other reason than we're all so much more connected, and we're all watching so much more closely, and now have the ability to communicate about it. Also, and here is the key, and this ties in that idea of fear, I guess, the big time journalists, the guys who are skilled and have the credibility to break a big story, such as steroids, are now paying attention to people like me, they read my site, and others sports blogs, and are in tune with what the fan wants. The demand end of their profession in some ways is driving the supply. So, if anything, a journalist may be inspired to uncover a story more because they know there is a reader that is interested.
J. Mark English: Matt, I want to thank you once again for taking your time to talk with me tonight. Sport fans benefit from the sports blogosphere because of the venue of involvement people like yourself provide. Just as sports talk radio allowed for more fan participation, your venue takes it a step forward. Its exciting to see how far you have come, and I wish you continued success at Metsblog, and with your future ambitions.
Matt Cerrone: It was my pleasure. Have a great night.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Your Evening Fix 5.17.06

  • LeBron James lead vote getter for All-NBA team.
  • Jayson Starks reports that a Roger Clemens decision is just weeks away.
  • Barbaro drew the sixth post and will be huge favorite heading into the Preakness.
  • Jerry Klein asks if Barbaro can handle the pressure.
  • Phil Taylor describes Larry Brown's one year with the Knicks as a "colossal disaster".
  • Barcelona wins Champions League Soccer Final.
  • Larry Hughes will miss game 5 against Pistons.
  • Sweden trounces the USA in the ice hockey World Championships.
  • Valparaiso is moving to the Horizon League in 2007.
  • Former Bengals tight end, Dan Ross, collapses, dies at 49.
  • New Orleans Saints set a franchise record for season ticket sales.
  • Buffalo Sabres owner B. Thomas Golisano is savoring the playoffs.
  • Finally, in a non sports related matter, the "Da Vinci Code" is destroyed by critics.

Okay, Its Not Mr. Ed...

But feel free to have a chat with Barbaro...

Your Daily Fix 5.17.06

  • Justin Gatlin only tied the world record for the 100m dash.
  • New Jersey Nets are eliminated by the Heat last night, 106-105.
  • Jorge Posada gives the Yanks a come from behind win last night at the Stadium.
  • Mets survive the rain and beat up the Cardinals.
  • Schilling clobbered, but still picks up sixth win of the season.
  • Arbitrators decision on Steve McNair should come by June 1.
  • USA falls to fifth in the FIFA world ranking.
  • Larry Browns agent lays out ultimatum: "He's coaching the Knicks or they're firing him..."
  • Finally, William & Mary's will be restricted from using mascot in NCAA championships.

Kazmir the Magnificent

"Scott Kazmir just keeps getting better." how Bill Chastain of begins his review of Kazmir's performance, as if to make the Met fan feel even worse for having seen him dealt for Victor Zambrano (out for the season).
Yes Kazmir did get better last night, improving to 6-2 on the year, with his ERA standing at 2.77. Druel away Mets fans... Maybe in a few years New York Met fans can see him pitch at New York Yankee. That would be the icing on the cake.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Spoof of the Day: Ernie Accorsi - Real American Hero

Your Daily Fix 5.16.06

  • Charlie Ward, long time point guard for the Knicks, makes the college football Hall of Fame.
  • Jeff Gordon highlights baseball's greatest showmen.
  • Lindsay Davenport withdraws from the French open due to back injury.
  • Reggie Bush undergoes MRI.
  • And...the debate continues over which number Bush will wear.
  • United States will face Sweden in the quarter finals of World Ice Hockey Championship.
  • Warren Blatt disects the heart of the Cavs.
  • Gregg Doyel and the ten worst coaching jobs in college basketball.
  • Eric Mack talks Cubbies and the meaning of the return of Kerry Wood.
  • Tom Verducci says its time for the Yanks, Johnson to face reality.
  • a non related sports topic...Albino's protest the "Da Vinci Code" movie.

Irish Voice is Out

The Fighting Irish will no longer have Tony Roberts as their play by play guy:
Tony Roberts, a Notre Dame football announcer for 26 years, is out of a job, replaced by Don Criqui, a broadcaster for the team in the 1970s, the Westwood One radio network said.
The Irish are also set to return to a Rockne barnstorming era.

Bowden, Pateron in Hall Among Others...

ABC College Football Primetime

Its bye bye Monday Night Football, and hello Saturday Night Football for ABC.

Subway Series Lottery

Perhaps the New York Lotto has gone a bit to far this time...

Monday, May 15, 2006

Northwestern's Women Soccer Team Suspended

Nothing like good old fashion "alleged" least this time a men's team avoids the fall:
Northwestern University suspended its women's soccer team Monday while the school investigates alleged hazing involving players last year.
The school learned of the allegations Monday, athletics director Mark Murphy said in a statement.
"If the investigation shows that there has been a violation of Northwestern's policies, appropriate sanctions will be imposed and the Athletic Department may take additional action as well,'' Murphy said.
The statement did not provide details about the alleged incident, and a Northwestern spokesman Alan Cubbage said the school would not comment further.
A Web site on Monday displayed pictures allegedly of Northwestern soccer players in T-shirts and underwear, some wearing blindfolds and others with their hands tied behind their backs.
Other women had words or pictures scrawled on their bodies and clothes, and it appeared some were drinking alcohol.

I Thought April Fools Had Passed....

...but apparently Mike and the Maddog will be filling in as Mets play by play announcers next week...

Your Afternoon Fix 5.15.06

  • Cavaliers mourn with Larry Hughes.
  • Twins move prospect Francisco Liriano into the rotation.
  • Perhaps Larry Brown may be hanging around after all with the Knicks...
  • Duke lacrosse team co-captain insists he is innocent.
  • Parents of the 'victim' in the Duke scandal charge she is being treated unfairly.
  • Ex-Juventus GM questioned about scandal.
  • Reggie Bush misses practice due to hamstring.
  • Mets' Zambrano undergoes surgery.
  • Finally, bravo to Major League Baseball for going pink yesterday.

Photo of the Day: Freddy Schuman

Duke Turmoil: The Latest News...

...can be found here or here and even here.

'Cocktail Party' Rejected

University of Georgia President Michael Adams objects to the phrase "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" to describe the annual Georgia-Florida football game.
And he has asked CBS Television and the city of Jacksonville, Fla., to not use the phrase when promoting the game the network televises each year.
The request is part of Adams' push to curb on-campus alcohol abuse and change UGA's image as a party school.

Boo-oh Canada?

As if the 1992 World Series wasn't enough of a mockery against Canada...
San Jose Sharks fans loudly booed the Canadian national anthem Sunday night before Game 5 of their team's second-round playoff series with the Edmonton Oilers.
The vociferous booing started from the opening notes of singer Annmarie Martin's rendition of O Canada. While other fans attempted to drown it out by singing along, the boos were audible until the final notes.
Pregame anthem booing was a hot-button issue in sports shortly after the beginning of the war in Iraq, with fans in Chicago's Wrigley Field, Montreal's Bell Centre and other arenas booing their neighbors' anthem from 2002-04.
There was no apparent political motive for the booing in San Jose -- just a questionable expression of the fans' dislike of the Oilers, who won the last two games in Edmonton to tie the series at two games apiece.
The Shark Tank fans didn't boo O Canada before the first two games, and fans in Edmonton didn't boo The Star-Spangled Banner last week.

Your Daily Fix 5.15.06

  • Looks like the Rangers will have company on the golf course, as the New Jersey Devils are knocked out of the playoffs by the Hurricanes.
  • Texas running back Ramonce Taylor charged with felony drug possession.
  • Grand Jury indicts a third Duke lacrosse player. (I'm sure this case has had no small affect in helping Mike Nifong keep his job.)
  • Peter King thinks that the Eagles are just dandy without T.O. Good...maybe the people of Philadelphia can find something else to talk about 24/7.
  • Clippers get even with the Suns, but does Los Angeles care?
  • Speaking of things that people don't care about...the movie Goal opened this past weekend in the United States, about a young kid who grows up in Los Angeles and leads the United States soccer team to the top in the World Cup.