Displaying all articles tagged:


Most Recent Articles

Andy Pettitte Is Delightful, Doomed

Andy Pettitte
Breaking news: Andy Pettitte is adorable. He's likable, he's sweet, he's honest, and he may just be the victim in all of this MLB performance-enhancing drug mess. Sure, he may have received injections of human growth hormone and been forced to throw his friend and mentor Roger Clemens under the bus, but isn't he a peach? That's the takeaway that many viewers and fans were left with after the Yankee pitcher's hour-long press conference yesterday, during which he answered questions about his own drug experiences but avoided directly contradicting Clemens's assertion that he "misremembered" a conversation about steroids with the older pitcher. (He did, however, pointedly say that trainer Brian McNamee, who claims to have injected Clemens and Pettitte, "told the truth about me.") New York's sports columnists, on the whole, were wildly impressed with Pettitte's humble, endearing performance — if not entirely sold on his emotional honesty. • George Vecsey was impressed by Pettitte's reference to biblical lessons on conscience. "[It's] a word one does not hear on a daily basis, particularly in the big-time sports mill." [Times] • Will Leitch thought the performance was similar to many other vaguely apologetic sports press conferences after past scandals. But he also thought Pettitte was being honest. "He's completely full of bullshit," Leitch wrote. "But we nevertheless agree with him, across the board." [Deadspin]

Digesting the McNamee-Clemens Testimony Before Congress

Clemens and McNamee
If you haven't been watching today's drawn-out congressional hearing with former Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens and his ex-trainer, Brian McNamee, then you've been missing a whole lot of awkwardness, lies, and frustration. As expected, Clemens began his testimony by insisting that he had never been injected with human growth hormone or steroids. Shortly afterward, McNamee (sitting two seats away) maintained that Clemens did. What has followed has been an incredibly tense grilling from cranky congressmen, in which one of the two men must be lying and both seem to be constantly contradicting small elements of their previous stories. One, if not both, will most likely be charged with perjury, according to House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman Henry Waxman. Below, we've summarized what we've learned so far during each of the grillings by various members of the committee.

Yanks Sweep Sox; We Confess Stupidity

So, hey, remember back at the all-star break, when we wrote that "the Yankees' season is already over: They're ten games behind the Red Sox and out of the wild-card race"? And remember how we went on and on about it? "They've run out of saviors," we continued. "Unless the earth starts spinning backward, or someone fudges the math, or Steinbrenner discovers a way to fire the entire A.L. East, there will be no signature late-summer heroics, no storming back and humiliating the Red Sox, no sweeping the postseason awards. We are witnessing, at long last, the global-warming-ish collapse of the Torre dynasty — long predicted by doomsdayers, supported recently by airtight statistical trends, and now suddenly upon us." Yeah, well, they swept the Sox, and now they're only five games back, and they've got a one-game lead for the wild card. Apparently we had no idea what we were talking about. Earlier: The Yanks' Losing Season: How Can Fans Cope?

Anna Wintour Fails to Lighten Up, Even Under Blazing Sun

Why does Anna Wintour look so mad? She's at the U.S. Open; she should be having fun! Is it because she's been exposed to sunlight? Nope. It's because one of her dreadful aides has failed her once again. A Daily Intel spy spotted Miss Anna reaming out the hapless helper outside of Court 13 on day one of the Open yesterday because she was briefly denied access to the stands. Seems officials wouldn't let her — or anyone else, not that that matters — in until a changeover. Bad assistant! Very bad!

Tennis Shoes

The U.S. Open started today. Roger Federer, the No. 1 seed, played Scoville Jenkins, an American. Federer won in straight sets. These are his shoes. We can only imagine what parts of Federer the AFP will be offering by the time this thing ends, in two weeks.

Holy Cow! Rizzuto Dies at 89

There was a certain amount of eye-rolling when Phil Rizzuto, the scrappy Yankees shortstop who died today at 89, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994. The Scooter had repeatedly been denied entry by the voting sportswriters on the grounds that his stats were good, not great (.273 lifetime batting average, one MVP year) and that his presence on seven World Series–winning teams was dumb luck. It was said at the time that his pal Yogi Berra had talked to the veterans' committee, which digs up early players forgotten by history, and smoothed the way for his old buddy Rizzuto. This may or may not have been true, but, either way, it was ridiculous.

Hundreds and Hundreds

To recap the weekend in local sports milestones: Tom Glavine pitched a win against the Cubs in Chicago last night, notching his 300th and becoming the first Met to do so. Also yesterday, up at Yankee Stadium, Hideki Matsui hit his 100th home run, a day after A-Rod — finally! — hit his 500th. We'll note only that none of this happened Friday night, while we sat, shvitzing, in the Stadium and Rodriguez, a full nine days after his 499th homer, could manage only a double, a walk, and a sacrifice fly. Boo. Well, actually, yay. But also a little boo.

The Yanks' Losing Season: How Can Fans Cope?

As the halfway mark passes — um: yay, American League! — the Yankees' season is already over: They're ten games behind the Red Sox and out of the wild-card race. They've run out of saviors. Unless the earth starts spinning backward, or someone fudges the math, or Steinbrenner discovers a way to fire the entire A.L. East, there will be no signature late-summer heroics, no storming back and humiliating the Red Sox, no sweeping the postseason awards. We are witnessing, at long last, the global-warming-ish collapse of the Torre dynasty — long predicted by doomsdayers, supported recently by airtight statistical trends, and now suddenly upon us. This leaves Yankee fans in an unfamiliar position. How do we cope with an entirely meaningless second half of the season?

Bad Games, Cool Photos

So the Yankees lost yet again last night, their second straight to the Colorado Rockies, which puts them just barely above .500 — and ten games behind the first-place Sox. But these new direct-from-overhead pix Getty Images is offering — that's Andy Pettitte mid-pitch — are, we think, pretty damned cool. Small pleasures. Standings [MLB.com]

Yanks Win, Monochromatically

The Yankees beat the Diamondbacks last night to bring their winning streak to seven and — finally! — put the team at a .500 record. Plus Getty Images apparently started taking some nifty black-and-white sports photos. Cool all around, eh? Yanks Get Even As Bobby Socks [NYDN]

Maxwell Wheat Will Not Be L.I. Poet Laureate

• Nassau County had its first poet laureate all picked out: Maxwell Corydon Wheat Jr. Then they discovered his poem that begins "Males and one woman / Sip coffee mornings in the White House, / Talk of desires about Iraq." So that's a no. Good call, incidentally: The poem is beyond awful. [NYT] • Meet Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, a SUNY-Albany nanotech scientist who happens to be the best-remunerated state employee in New York. After last week's record pay hike, his various salaries add up to an annual windfall of $947,538. Not that anyone's counting. [NYP] • Nothing like a crazed-insurance-broker yarn: Noel Lauria bought a bow and fired arrows out his UES window, landing a stray one through a neighbor's terrace door. His explanation to the cops: "I'm turning 40." [NYDN] • Oh, goody, another "edgy" magician dangling over Times Square. The ingredients in the current mess: a guy named Criss Angel, a glass box, 6,000 pounds of concrete, and a crappy A&E show to promote. Go concrete! [amNY] • And over the weekend, all manner of deformed, tattooed, and hairy freaks played baseball. Also, there was a Coney Island charity game, with the Sideshow By the Seashore performers battling the Cyclone staff. See what we did there? [Metro NY]

Last Night in New York Baseball: The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat

Pro sports can be simultaneously rational and bizarre, painful and joyous, and in less than an hour last night all those elements came together to perfectly crystallize the New York big-league baseball narrative so far this season: One of our teams can’t catch a break, one can't do anything wrong, and that hour showed it. It’s a moment worth commemorating before SportsCenter's tsunami of highlights washes it all away.

Statue of Liberty

In exciting weekend-sports action, the New York Liberty opened the season with an 83-71 victory over the Chicago Sky. (What, were there more interesting local games this weekend?) Mostly, though, we're just fascinated by this photo of what appears to have been the halftime entertainment. Ladies and gentleman, the Timeless Torches. They're the Liberty's 40-and-over dancers, and, well, the gals seem to really admire that dude in the hat. Related: Timeless Torches [WNBA.com]

Liberty Rookie Is a Real New Yorker

Liberty Rookies
After last year's dismal season, it seems odd that the New York Liberty would trade its star player, Becky Hammon. Regardless, the payoff looks promising with three superstar rookies (above) gearing up for the May 20 season opener: Jessica Davenport, Tiffany Jackson, and the local Shay Doron. Doron, 22, a Israeli-born University of Maryland grad, spent her childhood moving back and forth between New York and Tel Aviv. She settled here her junior year of high school to attend Queens' basketball-centric Christ the King. Why did your family decide to return to New York? The sole reason we moved back was for me to play basketball and have an opportunity to be recruited. Christ the King is the best basketball school in country. Are you Jewish? Yeah.

Bruce Ratner vs. the Homeless, Too

• 350 residents were ordered out of a homeless shelter after a parapet fell off a Ratner-condemned building next door. Even the dourest pessimists at Develop Don't Destroy didn't think mass displacement at Atlantic Yards would already be an issue. [NYT] • So that's why the City Council wants to ban metal bats: An assistant baseball coach at East Side's Norman Thomas H.S. allegedly went medieval with one, clubbing two kids over the head for cheering on a rival team. [NYDN] • Not a week after a court confirmed activists' right to film cops at protests, the NYPD is asking a judge to give officers back the right to film protesters. Everyone's a damn auteur in this city. [amNY] • Asian American groups are steadily mounting an Imus Redux; CBS Radio is under pressure to can shock jocks "JV and Elvis" for prank-calling a Chinese restaurant with "shlimp flied lice" jokes. Shouldn't we be addressing the larger issue of why prank-calling restaurants is a marketable career option? [MediaChannel] • And Jon Corzine says "I'm the most blessed person who ever lived." Point taken, J.C.: The man is walking and talking two weeks after meeting a guardrail at 91mph. [WNBC]

How to Pretend to Care About Hockey

It's NHL playoff time, and your New York Rangers start their postseason tonight in Atlanta. This is good news for the Rangers themselves and troubling news for the rest of New York, which is suddenly obligated to actually pay attention to hockey. How to follow a team you haven't watched in a while (or since 1994 or never) and don't much care about? Simple: Just pretend the Rangers play for other New York teams, the ones you've heard of. So who's the Rangers' A-Rod? Who's their Paul Lo Duca? After the jump, our guide to the Rangers and their other-sports analogues.

A Look Back at the Other March Madness

With the end of March, and, tonight, the end of its best-known Madness, we thought we'd let you in on a secret: There's a different March Madness, and it took place last month on a different set of hardwood courts. It's the College Squash Association Individual National Championships, which were held at the University of Pennsylvania's Ringe Squash Center, and they were — you may be surprised to hear — as exciting to watch North Carolina State's legendary comeback against Houston in the 1983 NCAA finals, just a little more understated.

This Is Not a Baseball Preview

We refuse, on principle, to offer a baseball season preview. We will not devolve into dewy-eyed fawns trembling in sweet-hearted wonder at the shimmering mysteries to come. ("New Season Brings a Fresh Start for Yankees," this morning's Times excitedly reports.) It's futile to make predictions about a sport in which a season lasts almost as long as human pregnancy — picking a World Series winner now is like predicting that a zygote will turn out to be eight pounds, five ounces, born via c-section at 6:32 on a drizzly November morning, with a mild overbite and his father's eyes. Trust us: You'll be wrong.