Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sam Smith Thinks Joakim Noah is Right About Cleveland

Posted By on Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 11:20 AM


Sam Smith was on Tony Kornheiser's radio show yesterday, and before he got into talking actual basketball, Smith made it a point to offer his potshots at Cleveland while talking on the phone at the Ritz Carlton. For anyone who reads Smith's brand of schlock journalism every once in awhile, what follows is not going to be surprising.

Sam Smith: By the way, it's the first sunny day I've experienced in Cleveland since '89.

Kornheiser: I'm sure you've eaten at the place, Johnny's downtown. It's really good.

Sam Smith: Yeah. There's only three restaurants downtown, so I have.

Korneisher: It's really good though.

Sam Smith: Uh, yeah. It's ok.

Keep it classy, Sam.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

100th Anniversary Game at League Park Was This Weekend

Posted By on Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 2:38 PM


You can file this under: Things I Had No Idea Were Occurring.

The 100th anniversary game at League Park was played last weekend by those guys who play baseball by those old rules because it's fun or something. League Park II hosted its first game on April 21, 1910, and Cleveland Blues Baseball Club is still showing up each spring to play old-timey ball and honor League Park's history.

Currently, the two remaining structures of the park have been partially renovated. The ticket house still has leaks, and many broken windows. The right field wall, although reinforced, is still in jeopordy of becoming condemned as time goes by. The park hosts practices and MUNY football games for people in the community, and is the future home of the new Cleveland Buckeyes. The only baseball being played at the park is by the Cleveland Blues Base Ball Club, a vintage base ball team playing by the rules of 1864.

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Jhonny Peralta is to a Dying Horse as Joe Borowski Was to a Dying Horse

Posted By on Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 12:22 PM

To the glue mill you go, old boy.
  • To the glue mill you go, old boy.

Jhonny Peralta needs to go away. I know it's a drum that has been beaten in recent weeks, but his play has truly reached some deplorable and inexcusable levels. It reminds me of something I wrote about Joe Borowski when it was clear the old horse of a closer needed to go away also.

My mother’s parents lived on a farm in Farmer City, Illinois. Population 2055, according to the 2000 census. We’d go out there once or twice a year to visit, frolic in the middle of nowhere, and check out what the whole farming life was like. My grandfather had a horse named Pinky that had been around since my mother was a child. Pinky was small and generally useless, but she was great with kids, prancing around eating grass and taking us out for rides to look at silos and such. She was good with kids — for a while. ... There came a distinct point when you knew Pinky was too damn old and went beyond uselessness territory and straight into being dangerous.

There were a lot of us grandkids, so Pinky worked hard. If you happened to be at the end of the line to board the pony, you were taking a chance that she was old, tired, worn out and pissed off. I found myself in that unlucky position once. I climbed on, she took off on a death sprint. Her mission seemed to be to kill you, and if she broke her legs trying, that just meant the sweet release of death would come all the sooner, and at the very least, the rest of the kids would be too scared to saddle up anymore. My grandfather eventually saw this, and knew there was no hope that Pinky would return to her sweet ole self. Pinky was old; Pinky needed to go.

There's really few areas where Jhonny hasn't actively caused the Indians to lose ball games. Three-run errors? He's got it. Regular errors? Of course. Epic hitting slumps? Yep. His patented late-season surge during meaningless games when he makes his numbers look somewhat respectable even though there's no pressure and nothing on the line and we all want to kill him still? I'm sure that's in the forecast as well.

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Video: Shaq, the High School Years

Posted By on Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 7:05 AM

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Liza Minelli and Scott Fujita, The Duo We've All Been Waiting For

Posted By on Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 6:07 AM

There's really nothing of newsworthy note here, and yet I'm posting about it. Why? Because anytime a press release comes and the featured pairing at an event is Liza Minelli and Scott Fujita, then it amuses me and I have to share it.

Fujita, perennial good guy, is being honored by PFLAG. He will do so while trying to avoid being eaten or married by Minelli. The press release, for anyone interested, is excerpted below. Liza Minelli jokes can go in the comment section.

2nd Annual Event to Occur on Saturday, May 1st at the Marriott Marquis

Washington, D.C. — This Saturday, May 1st, Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) will host its second annual Straight for Equality Awards Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis. Honorees this year include star of film, stage and screen Liza Minnelli, NFL Super Bowl XLIV star, now of the Cleveland Browns Scott Fujita, and international food services corporation Sodexo. The event will be hosted by comedienne Caroline Rhea, with the live auction hosted by actor and "Amazing Race IV"-winner Reichen Lehmkuhl.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Scientific Study: Looking at Chief Wahoo Will Make You Hate Asians

Posted By on Mon, Apr 26, 2010 at 3:52 PM


Yes, even if you've never had any negative thoughts or feelings about Asians before in your life, looking at Chief Wahoo, the mere existence of Chief Wahoo, can change your opinions of a whole separate ethnicity.

That according to a new study in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, which probably confirms that Clevelanders and Indians fans are inclined to stereotype and hate just about every group in the world.

When activists petition to remove Native American mascots from the logos of sports teams, the answer of traditionalists often boils down to: What’s the harm?

Newly published research provides an unexpected answer. It suggests exposure to one stereotype — however whimsical or benign in its intent — apparently activates others.

Native American mascots and logos have long been the subject of much debate. Should schools and teams get rid of them? Are they racist? Does it really matter? Should a bunch of middle-aged white people get to make those decisions? What does it really hurt?

What you should be asking is: How does Chief Wahoo effect my view of Polish people? Can one seemingly innocent logo representing Native Americans actively change my perception of the Irish?

Yes, yes it can apparently.

A research team led by psychologist Chu Kim-Prieto of The College of New Jersey examined the way our brains react to seeing or reading about a Native American sports team mascot. It conducted two experiments using Chief Illiniwek, a mythical figure who served as the official symbol of University of Illinois athletics from the 1920s until 2007.

In the first study, conducted on the University of Illinois’ Champaign-Urbana campus, 79 students selected at random filled out a 25-item “Scale of Anti-Asian American Stereotypes.” Participants rated on a one-to-five scale whether they agreed with such statements as “Asian Americans are motivated to obtain too much power in our society.”

For one-third of the survey takers, the questionnaire was pulled out of a folder decorated with stickers depicting Chief Illiniwek. For another third, the folder was festooned with the capital letter “I,” the alternate logo of U of I athletics. For the final third, the folder was blank.

The results: Those exposed to the image of the mascot, however peripherally, endorsed anti-Asian American stereotypes to a greater extent than those in the other two groups.

A second experiment showed similar results.

Their conclusion: “One’s reliance on stereotypes appears to be heightened with increased exposure to stereotypes, regardless of whom the stereotype is portraying.”

(Full gory scientific details and numbers and stuff can be found here.)

Follow me on Twitter: @vincethepolack.

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Swag Alert: UNDRCRWN's LeBron Triple Double Tee

Posted By on Mon, Apr 26, 2010 at 3:29 PM


Ice Cube's famous line, "Messed around and got a triple double," has never been so appropriately appropriated as with this UNDRCRWN tee. Since it looks like LeBron can nonchalantly throw down a 37-12-10 whenever he feels like it anymore, this might be the best choice of gear for the playoffs.

Follow me on Twitter: @vincethepolack.

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