Archive for the ‘tennis’ Category

Jamaicans, Moneyball, Sosa: Link Dump!

June 25, 2009 Comments off

Cat Deeley SYTYCDWho would believe you can get 56 stars tattooed on your head while you were asleep? No one is that fast, nor that gentle with a needle… In New York, is Bloomberg just delaying the budget deficit hit until after the elections, where he is running for an unprecedented third term… Meanwhile, California’s budget deficit will have them dealing out “IOUs”, because liabilities at interest is just what the Golden State needs… there may be water on the moon (a moon of Saturn).

And for fun, the top 10 recent male politician infidelity confessions to accompany you while you read Gov. Sanford’s emails to his lady friend in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Transformers 2 gets bad reviews, but apparently has a lot of Megan Fox bouncing in slow motion. That, I suppose, will sell, but I can’t stand to listen to her act. So instead of the gratuitous Megan Fox picture I should put up, here’s a gratuitous Cat Deeley photo, just because I can… and instead of arrows or bullets, I’ll use Toni Basil’s crazy eyes.

Too short for a Toni Basil: From a while ago on the NCAA’s blog: Do You Have What It Takes to be an Athletic Director?

toni basil icon Samardo Samuels (Louisville), Weyinmi Efejuku (Providence), and Mike Coburn (Rutgers) out of the Big East will be playing with the Jamaican men’s national team this summer.

Hopefully the squad will do well in the Caribbean Basketball Championship this coming week… and maybe make moves to be included in the 2012 Olympics. And with all the Jamaicans in London, they might find it a little like a homecoming. As long as there are no more Jamaican Me Crazy headlines. Please.

toni basil iconGood to hear about former Marlins, Red Sox and Cubs pitcher Matt Clement. Apparently he’s hung it up in baseball and is coaching his high school’s basketball team in Butler, Pennsylvania; he played baseball and basketball before graduating in 1993.

He was never quite the same after that horrific injury, taking a baseball off his head faster than he could react. Good luck to him, and his future career.

toni basil iconChances of ever seeing that Moneyball movie are pretty much dead now, after Sony stopped production, and no one wants to pick up the Steven Soderbergh/ Brad Pitt version of the Billy Beane-based book. Art Howe would have gotten to be himself! One-liners!

The “high budget and limited commercial appeal” sunk the project; apparently, “adult audiences”have not brought in the desired revenue.  Summer blockbusters for kids all year! And no more baseball movies, unless they are financed by Kevin Costner.

toni basil icon Ryne Sandberg thinks Sammy Sosa doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame. Well, does Sandberg belong? Just asking!

For me, I am not very surprised that Sammy was on some steroid junk… the whole throwing his back out sneezing seemed to me like something that happens in conjunction with overworking the body’s muscles. I don’t know, but I would have suspected then. But, so what? Players are always trying to get over. If he is determined to be the best of the players who took steroids, he still has to have been great player to be the superstar that he was.

Another too short for a Toni Basil: Was there match-fixing at Wimbledon? Certainly, anyone looking to throw a game knows to do it in the less-publicized, less watched contests… so that’s not out of the realm of reason.

toni basil icon Barack Obama will throw out the first pitch at the All-Star game in St. Louis this year. I hope they don’t boo him… the city, like the Cardinal uniforms, tends towards red. Speaking at Notre Dame and showing up at the midsummer classic? He really is trying to win everybody over with smiles and availability.

And he’ll probably wear a White Sox jersey.

toni basil iconNew York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority is selling the naming rights to my old train station at Atlantic and Flatbush in Brooklyn to Barclay’s Bank, since that is where the new Nets stadium – if it is ever built – will stand.

The new design for the Barclay’s Arena for the Nets (from the New York Press) really does look like an airplane hangar.

Nets Arena Brooklyn Barclay's

US Open To Be Aired on ESPN

May 13, 2008 1 comment

I knew that something bugged me when I heard that ESPN was to broadcast the entirety of the US Open (taking over from USA Network), starting in 2009. And it wasn’t just the annoyance of the :18 and :58 banners and breathless coverage of Clemens-gate on the bottom line banner.

Gabriela SabatiniBut access to all the games will be a worry. From a Connecticut Post editorial:

You know what else makes the USA coverage outstanding? It’s always on. The matches start at 11 a.m., and that’s the time the USA theme song begins, a great start to every weekday until CBS takes over late in the tournament. There’s only a two-hour break in coverage from the first serve until the final point, and that break is often blown off if the matches are interesting enough. One of the first things I noticed with ESPN2’s coverage is that it will start at 1 p.m. during the first week. That’s two hours of tennis uncovered. Sigh.

It turns out that tennis will be covered. It’ll air on The Tennis Channel, which generally costs extra. Perhaps I’ll order TTC during that time span, but perhaps not; I pay more than enough for cable television as it is. To add insult to injury, the middle weekend night sessions — which have featured such matchups as James Blake vs. Roger Federer in past years — will be on TTC. That means a whole bunch of regular viewers will miss those matches, and possibly lose interest in the tournament as a result.

And there are other issues. The USTA made it clear it wants ESPN and tennis to become synonymous. The network already handles the other three Grand Slam events, often ruining them by focusing way too much on Americans, even in blowouts, ignoring live matches to show the American routs on tape.

The worst thing a network can do in showing a sport where Americans are not entirely dominant is… showing mostly Americans. Makes the sport look boring. If you watch the World Cup and only see the Americans, you think soccer is a slovenly, boring sport that sucks 90 minutes out of your life.

And those midweek matches are the most fun – late evening, watching two players who can’t break that top-ten ceiling fighting and struggling to win a 3 (for the women) or 5 (for the men) set match on pure grit and sweat, on an 85 degree night in Flushing? That’s the joy of the US Open right there. Those are the tickets I used to get and enjoy. And the AM games? When I was in high school, I’d go to any of those games I could get tickets to (okay, they were free. I didn’t have that kind of loot in HS!) and watch minor players try to prove they belonged.

And I am NOT buying the tennis channel for a month.

I can see the finals and semis drawing a strong crowd to ESPN, but otherwise, they’re just burying the early round matches to tennis fanatics, and there aren’t many of those anymore.

Photo above is of the great Gabriela Sabatini (purr); below is video of her 1991 US Open win over Steffi Graf.

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Categories: Sports, tennis, tv