Blogs by: CHE

Scared…but in a good way

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

mike-tysonI came across this earlier today in Page Six of the NY Post:

“That guy scares me,” Iron Mike told Page Six at the premiere of James Toback‘s documentary, “Tyson,” at Loews near Union Square. “I wouldn’t want to be in a room with that guy.”

Yeah, me either. I don’t know where you were when Iron Mike was kicking ass, but the self-proclaimed “baddest man on the planet” was, for that brief span of time, the baddest man on the planet — maybe with the exception of a handful of Russian mobsters.  He had guys whupped on their way into the ring — I distinctly remember poor, shaken Marvis Frazier and Michael Spinks, looking like they’re ready to surrender well before getting  KO’d in the first round. But what I also remember are my own sweaty palms and racing pulse — there was nothing like the raw animal fear you felt just  watching it at home — or at a bar — as Tyson , sans robe, menace rolling off him like black fog, made his way into the ring.  Then, boom, one, two, three rounds later, it’s all over…and the relief you feel, as if you’ve just pulled yourself out of a bad dream.  Where can you go to get that these days, assuming you don’t have the benefit of an amply stocked medicine cabinet?

The Fine Line Between a Reader and Someone Who Won’t Let You Relieve Yourself in Peace

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
Care for a Tick Tack? A comb? Is there anything else I can do for you?

Care for a Tick Tack? A comb? Is there anything else I can do for you?

Some time back we did a story blowing the lid off a covert op sanctioned by the  MLB — drug testers posing as men’s room attendants were secretly posted in select MLB locker rooms: “You’re standing there, taking care of business, when suddenly, out of nowhere, a Dixie cup appears between your legs,” said an unnamed Pittsburgh Pirate whose experience was shared by dozens of other players around the league. “You’re like – wha? It all happens so fast…you zip up, a non-descript gentleman hands you a towel, gives you a splash of cologne and offers you a breath mint. You have no idea what just hit you or what just happened, but your breath feels minty fresh and you smell like a million bucks.”

Months later we receive this: (more…)

“Ericka” Dampier Sprouts a Pair…but of what?

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

eric_dampier1After Tony Parker emasculated Dirk and the Sopranos in Game Two, scoring 38 points — many on layups — Mavs center Erick, aka Ericka, Dampier, suddenly took stock of the size differential (6-11, 265 vs. , what, 6-2 and 175?) and vowed to put the Frenchman on his back in Game Three:  “Parker got into the teeth of our defense and caused problems,” Dampier told The Dallas Morning News after the game. “Every time he drives the lane, we have to put him on his back. The first foul has to tell him he’s in for a long night. My first foul Thursday night is going to put him on his back. I guarantee it.” Some think it’s the right move — someone’s got to step up, right? Mark Cuban going all Chuck Lidell on a water cooler’s not gonna do it. But now the big lug’s got the league “looking into it,” and the refs will have their whistles on a hair-trigger.   So it’s not likely to have a beneficial outcome for the Mavs.     (more…)

Baseball in 150 Words or Less

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

baseball1(First, on the off-chance my folks stumble across this, I know , I know, it’s  not less, it’s 150 words or “fewer.”  But just this once…)

In a recent Slate article, political writer John Dickerson writes about the difficulty of trying to convey the basics of baseball to his six year old son. 

Like all first-time players, he’s fuzzy on the rules. He hits the ball and runs with the bat. (In these troubling times, who’d blame him?) When I explain the rules, I can’t get them out fast enough to hold his attention. Or I’m just not a talented explainer: “I was listening,” he said, jumping from home plate to second on the imaginary field we’d created on the bed.

Dickerson lays down a challenge to anyone able to define the game in 150 words or, gulp, less.  Reminds me of a TSD story about an unpublished film script found among the papers of the late Ingmar Bergman.   (more…)

The “Green Monster”

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

green_monsterI was talking to my friend about the new Mets and Yankees parks when we started wondering aloud how they’d go about building a new Fenway if, repeat IF, a new generation of fans suddenly succumbed to a collective fit of amnesia or simply embraced the idea of modern amenities.  Most importantly, what would they do with left field? We got on this when discussing Citi Field — how it remains consistent with Shea in that it’s still a pitcher’s ballpark, which we agreed is every bit as part of the stadium’s legacy — or, soul — as the architectural flourishes that link it to its past (which in this case also includes echoes of Ebbetts Field). So, purely as a hypothetical, what do you do re the Monster? You can’t not “refer” to it, but I don’t see how you can mimic it — I mean, let’s face it, it’s an engineering defect, no matter how attached you are to baseball tradtion in general and Sox tradition in particular. (more…)

Why “Ballpark Salads” Are NOT a Good Thing

Thursday, April 16th, 2009


To be avoided at all costs -- and trust me, it will cost.

To be avoided at all costs -- and trust me, it will cost.

I was listening to Ron Darling on the Daily Show earlier this week hawking his new book. During the conversation Darling claims the new Citi Field has the best eats in the majors — it even has eight varieties of red wine!!  How about that (with echoes of Mr. Kalas, RIP).  Now, one thing you’ll want to avoid — at Citi or at any of the nouveau stadiums that offer sushi, lobster newberg and for all I know foie gras — is any concession stand offering salads.  Here’s why: 


In early April, the New York Times briefly reported the results of an eating behavior experiment.  Investigators asked college students to choose foods from menus that differed in only one feature; one menu offered a salad and the other did not.   The point?  To find out whether the presence of a salad on the menu influenced what else the students ate.   It did.   The students choose French fries more often from the menu with the salad.  The authors’ interpretation: the “health aura” of salads gives people permission to indulge.  Their paper will be published in the Journal of Consumer Research. (from Food Politics)


Salads as a “gateway” food (you know, like weed being a gateway drug leading to hard drugs)??  Who knew? I’ll have a caesar salad, low cal dressing please…with four hot dogs, an order of fries, onion rings, and a side of  heart attack.  


If the Bandana Doesn’t Fit…

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Sony StudiosThe Hulkster has images of O.J. dancing in his head. He’s clearly not happy that his ex-wife Linda is not only spending his money  (allegedly to the tune of $40K per month), but she’s been cavorting with some 19 year old.  Ouch.

“I could have turned everything into a crime scene, like O.J., cutting everybody’s throat,” he said. “You live half a mile from the 20,000-square-foot home you can’t go to anymore, you’re driving through downtown Clearwater and see a 19-year-old boy driving your Escalade, and you know that a 19-year-old boy is sleeping in your bed, with your wife … I totally understand O.J. I get it.”

No need to take it that far. You’d think the threat of getting slammed into a turnbuckle and getting hit him upside the head with a folding chair would be enough to scare the young buck away.   You’re a washed up former professional wrestler (sic) — act like it.

John Madden is Officially Off My All-Madden Team

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

caliendo_maddenAfter thirty years, the guy just up and quits.   “It’s time. I’m 73 years old,” Madden said in a statement. “My 50th wedding anniversary is this fall.”  How weak.  At least come up with something we can get behind:  I can’t stand in the booth any longer due to advancing osteoperosis, I’ve lost 40% of vision in my right eye, if I did one more game I’d have to kill Al Michaels.   It’s the equivalent of a veteran football player with a couple of more years left in the tank quitting to tend to his vegetable  garden.  

I predict he’ll be back before his 51st wedding anniversary, probably for another network and a new pimped-out MaddenCruiser.  Hard to imagine a football lifer  like John Madden staying away from the game for long…

With Roger Angell Warming Up in the Bullpen…

Friday, April 10th, 2009


E. Collins, 2B.

E. Collins, 2B.

The New Republic compiled its greatest baseball coverage dating to 1920, and includes pieces from former Senator Eugene McCarthy (on baseball turning too PC), hall-of-fame broadcaster Red Barber (on Jackie Robinson), and former TNR senior editor Robert Wright (on the 1994 strike). Check out their slideshow — particularly the pic of Roger Maris hitting his 61st home run.

Now (((Buffering))) Cleanup….

Monday, April 6th, 2009 for the iPhone, iPod Touch and the Blackberry offers a pitch-by-pitch game tracker, video highlights of games and Gameday Audio, which lets fans listen to live audio broadcasts of every game without any blackout restrictions.  Great  concept if you’re away from home or the office or can’t get an out of town game and you absolutely must– MUST —  get a fix.  But unless you’ve got the patience of a drugged fruit fly,  I hope you have plenty of time on your hands as you wait…and wait…and wait for the audio and video streams to appear and play.  You remember Mike Hargrove, the human rain delay?  If an interminable Mike Hargrove at bat is your idea of scintillating baseball, you’re in luck.

MLB’s First Free Agent Signing: Yanks, Mets Ink Nathan’s to 10 Year Deal

Monday, April 6th, 2009



When a ballpark hot dog was a ballpark hotdog.

Both the Yankees and the Mets have signed Nathan’s Famous to 10 -year deals, making it house brand at both Citi Field and Yankee Stadium for the next decade.  Great news for Nathans, not so great for traditionalists who associate MLB ballparks with barely edible food and flat beer.

I’m all for progress  and I’m well aware of the dramatic upgrade in the quality of ballpark food over the past decade or so.   But I always enjoyed the challenge of going nine innings without any prospect of relief from the unending assault on my taste buds and digestive system.  But I guess in the age of specialists there’s no benefit – or honor — in going the distance.

Andy Murray: Johnny Mac w/out the Charm

Monday, April 6th, 2009

4407309Ok, not the best analogy in the world, but you get the point — the sour Scottsman is not the most likeable dude on the ATP tour.   Particularly in contrast to Roger and Rafa, who’ve set the bar high in terms of class and likeability.  Murray plays with all the sunny positivity of a banker looking for ways to deny you a loan.  But after winning yesterday’s Sony Ericsson — considered the fifth major — he’s clearly the sport’s rising star.  He’s already won three titles this year and since July his record is 57-7, best on the tour.

Given all the gloom and doom out there, maybe we should welcome Murray’s ascendance  — who needs another grinning, blissed-out superstar to remind us of the gap between the blessed and the stressed? Andy Murray:  gloom we can believe in.