Monthly Archives: June 2003


MERYL-LY WE ROLL ALONG: Here’s Meryl Yourish, in an effort to be de-linked, making a variety of “controversial statements”:

Strom Thurmond was a racist jerk who should have died a few decades ago. PETA is a stupid, twit-filled organization that harms animal causes more than it helps. Ann Coulter is a lunatic who belongs in an asylum, and manages to cause more harm than good. And listen up, fellasshe’s not hot! You are effing blind if you think that woman is attractive. Ooh, ooh, I know! Rush Limbaugh is a big, fat idiot!
Oh, and yes on Roe v. Wade, yes on affirmative action, yes on the war in Iraq, and yes on the War on Terror.

Well, I agree with every single one of those sentiments, so if you’re un-blogrolling Meryl, take me off too. Though I suppose I’m yet to get a single de-link from my anti-Strom rant of the other night.
Speaking of which, I’ve gotten quite a bit of negative reaction to what I said about the late Dixiecrat. I admit that what I posted was written in the heat of the moment, and it was a bit more vicious than what I’m typically capable of writing. Yet I still stand by my original point that Strom Thurmond was not an admirable man, and I thus will not pretend that I’m saddened by his passing.
What’s interesting is that many bloggers (including Andrew and Mickey) have chosen to ignore Thurmond’s passing altogether. I guess it’s the whole “if you can’t say something nice…” principle.


“PAVANO PITCHED TO SIX BATTERS IN THE FIRST”: Here’s the box score line of the year, by Carl Pavano of the Marlins, starting Friday night’s 25-8 loss to the Red Sox:
C Pavano (L, 6-9)

Yes, Pavano gave up 6 runs in zero innings– that’s right, he didn’t get a single batter out. And to think this is the guy the Red Sox traded for Pedro Martinez… the inning became the first time in baseball history that a team scored 10 runs in the first inning before making an out, thus adding to my theory that every single day of the season, at least one thing happens that has never happened before in baseball history.
On bright side for Carl, the other four Marlins “pitchers” also gave up at least four runs apiece, one of them (Kevin Olsen) even winding up in the hospital after he was hit with a line drive. And we can also expect Pavano to become an instant sabermetric fave: he may have faced six batters and given up six hits and six runs, but he didn’t allow a single walk!


EX PLACE RISES AGAIN: The redevelopment of Ground Zero and of the World Trade Center’s destroyed transit hub may be years (if not decades) away, but a crucial piece of the pre-9/11 tranportation landscape was restored Sunday when the Exchange Place PATH station in Jersey City re-opened.
The PATH, for those unfamiliar, is a small underground transit system that serves the lower part of Manhattan and Northern New Jersey. Prior to 9/11, it functoned sort of as an X, with the four corners being Hoboken and Newark on the Jersey Side and 33rd Street (near Macy’s) and the World Trade Center on the Manhattan end. After 9/11 the WTC end of course was scrapped, and that included Exchange Place, which served Jersey City’s downtown business district.
When I first moved to Hoboken from Manhattan two years ago, one of the first things I did was teach myself the PATH system- so one day I got off at Exchange Place to look around. I remember being in awe of the view of the World Trade Center from the station’s plaza.
Almost two years after September 11, every little bit of healing still helps. I’ll have take another trip down there sometime this week.

TONY! TONY! TONY!: No, the

TONY! TONY! TONY!: No, the Gawker avalanche hasn’t inspired me to run a “Silver Stalker” feature from now on, but I thought I’d better share this: this afternoon I was walking down Hudson Street in the West Village (after returning from a trip to Philadelphia) and who should cross my path but Tony Soprano himself, James Gandolfini! He was by himself, wearing a blue polo shirt not too different from the one I was wearing at the time, and looked pretty much exactly the same as he does on TV. I didn’t say hi or anything; I think I would’ve been afraid of accidentally calling him “Tony.” Or of getting whacked. Or something. I believe he lives in the area; it’s the same block where the “Real World” house was during the Malik/Nicole/Coral season.
James happened to be walking in the direction of the New York Gay Pride Parade, which was going on in the West Village at the same time, but knowing from Page Six and elsewhere all about Mr. Gandolfini’s well-established heterosexual proclivities, I would not read anything into that connection. His role as a gay hitman in the movie “The Mexican” notwithstanding.
As for the parade itself, it was quite an experience: Chelsea boys were walking around in shirts that said “Just De-Criminalized.” Yea, the crowds kept me from getting to the PATH quickly, but I didn’t mind it nearly as much as when the anti-war protestors did the same thing a few months back. Did see lots “Queers for Howard Dean” buttons, though.

BORDER BATTLE: While the Brewers

BORDER BATTLE: While the Brewers and Twins were squaring off on the field this weekend, the Minnesota and Milwaukee entries in the NBA connected in another way: they made a trade. The Bucks sent point guard Sam Cassell and center Ervin “Not Magic” Johnson to the Wolves for forward Joe “not the founder of Mormonism” Smith and guard Anthony Peeler; both Johnson and Peeler were thrown in for cap purposes and are both expected to be immediately released.
I think it’s a good trade for the Wolves. Smith, possibly the worst overall #1 pick in league history, will always be a symbol of the most embarrassing gaffe in franchise history: the “illegal contract” that cost the team multiple first-round picks. Cassell may be unquestionably the ugliest player in the league (the man uncannily resembles an X-Files-like alien) but he’s a solid veteran; interestingly, Cassell was already included in a Wolves-Bucks trade of point guards- he went from the Nets to the Bucks in the 1999 three-way trade that sent Stephon Marbury to New Jersey and Terrell Brandon to the Wolves.
It’s been a pretty turbulent week for those Milwaukee Bucks: Thursday they drafted T.J. Ford of Texas, who plays Cassell’s position; on Saturday they shipped out both Cassell and General Manager Ernie Grunfeld, and then today owner (and Senator) Herbert Kohl announced that he is backing out of an agreement to sell the team to Michael Jordan. It’s unclear now whether the team will now be hanging unto Gary Payton or, for that matter, coach George Karl.


ONE MORE NBA DRAFT NOTE: I forgot to mention one thing from the draft broadcast Thursday (and Sports Guy missed it too): towards the end of the first round, the Lakers picked Brian Cook of Illinois- and just as the selection was announced, the camera zoomed in on a fat, mustached white guy in a Lakers jersey who was sitting in the crowd.
“Huh?” I thought to myself, “that‘s the pick?” No, it was merely some Laker fan celebrating; the real Cook emerged a minute or two later.


GOODBYE AND GOOD RIDDANCE TO STROM THURMOND: It was announced at about 11:00 tonight that former Senator Strom Thurmond has passed away at the age of 100. Readers of this blog know that when a celebrity or famous political figure dies, I often share a personal rememberence, and make an effort to pay tribute to that person. I plan to do that when Ronald Reagan dies,when Carl Pohlad dies, and (hell) probably even whenever Bud Selig dies too.
I will not be respectfully eulogizing Strom Thurmond tonight, because I believe that he was a man unworthy of mine or anyone else’s respect. He was the man who did more than any other American to derail the progress of the civil rights movement, to preserve racial inequality, and to deny voting and anti-discrimination rights to African-Americans. And he wasn’t Robert Byrd, who (in an admittedly atrocious act) once briefly joined the Ku Klux Klan in a bid to gain votes- Thurmond was a national leader of the pro-segregation movement, and (as Thurmond admirer Trent Lott has reminded us) even ran for president on the single-issue platform of keeping black children out of white schools. That he dropped these views as he got older is no defense; Thurmond’s actions were beyond forgiveness- He said “segregation forever,” not “segregation ’til I change my mind.” And later he all but lost his mind, selfishly continuing to serve in the Senate until he was well beyond senile, and was practically catatonic by the time he retired at the age of 100.
What’s funny is, I can already predict the next three or four days of partisan political discourse: Fox News Channel and their allies will run wistful, worshipful tributes to Thurmond- the same people who call Robert Byrd a Klansman every time he opens his mouth will preach the fiction that Thurmond was some kind of hero. Then a liberal or two will tell the truth- that Thurmond was in fact as vile a man as has ever been in American politics- and the righties will call them “rude,” “disrespectful,” and “un-American.” And on and on it goes… the continuing presence of Strom Thurmond in the GOP was one reason I’ve remained a Democrat; their soon-to-be-lionization of him will likely be one thing that keeps me one.
Strom Thurmond was a racist, a monster, and one of the primary villains of 20th century American history. He was an embarrassment to the United States the entire time that he served in the Senate, and one of the last links to an era in which black people were looked at second-class citizens, if not subhuman. America is a better country now that he’s dead.


DODGING THE DRAFT: Tonight was unquestionably the most boring NBA Draft I’ve ever watched. There was no drama, no surprises, no trades other than pick-for-pick or pick-for-cash, no embarrassing suits, and not even adverse reactions by the crowd to the Knicks’ picks.
Part of the problem was ESPN’s awful coverage, continuing their substandard NBA work from throughout the season. They used tiresome announcers like Tom Tolbert and Greg Anthony, gave next to no screen time to top reporters David Aldridge and Andy Katz, and were left with nothing of substance to say for minutes at a time. This paled by comparison with the hilarious and well-spoken TNT studio team led by Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson, who handled the draft the last few years.
The Wolves- finally- had a first round pick (their first since 1999) and used it to select Ndudi (pronounced “Doody”) Ebi, who I highly doubt will ever be a player of consequence in the NBA; with their second-round pick they took Rick Rickert, a one-dimensional former University of Minnesota Gopher who continues in the fine tradition of Gophers/T-Wolves like Randy Breuer, Richard Coffey, and the pre-trade Bobby Jackson. Of course, the Wolves had promised for weeks that they wouldn’t even consider drafting Rickert; looks like it’s gonna be a long offseason at Target Center.
The draft went exactly the way everyone thought it would- no one of note was left on the board for too long (other than that Lampe guy) none of the top picks were traded, and no veteran players were traded. There wasn’t much ESPN could’ve done with this material, but that doesn’t entirely excuse their bad coverage: the network is slipping, there’s no doubt about it.
The NBA Draft Diary is usually one of Sports Guy’s best columns of the year; even he’ll have his work cut out for him with the three hours of boredom of this year’s draft.
UPDATE (OR, “DOWN ON THE UPSIDE”): Simmons does a good job, despite the absence of an interesting draft, or his dad.


THE OTHER SODOM: Those who refer to the current Supreme Court as “radical right wing” may have to think twice after today’s ruling that laws against consensual sodomy are unconstitutional. It’s a just, fair, ruling, and with this and the gay marriage in Canada, it’s been a great year so far for the Radical Homosexual Agenda! They’re celebrating over at
It’s my hope that lifelong gay-basher Strom Thurmond heard about the ruling before he died today, just so he went to his grave knowing that in this very crucial part of the culture war, his side is on its way to defeat.