Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bud Selig Confused, Thinks 'World Baseball Classic' New Menu Item At Wendy's

New York, NY (Mar. 4) - Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, according to sources, spent nearly ten embarrassing minutes at a midtown Manhattan Wendy's restaurant, trying to locate the "World Baseball Classic" on the menu.

"Where is it?," Selig asked testily as he scanned the lighted menu behind cashier Jennifer Dooley.

"Where's what, sir?," Dooley said, according to her recounting of the conversation to reporters.

"That....'World Baseball Classic'," Selig replied, according to Dooley.

When Dooley expressed confusion, Selig persisted, insisting that Wendy's had a new menu item named after the national pastime in a nod to the upcoming baseball season. Dooley again contradicted that notion, and Selig became hostile, asking to speak to the manager.

"I assured him that no Wendy's restaurant -- anywhere -- has such a menu item," afternoon shift manager Dennis Crowley told reporters. "He had some people with him, and they just kind of rolled their eyes at me," Crowley added, also stating that after several minutes of Wendy's personnel trying to convince Selig that the 'World Baseball Classic' was not a menu item, Selig's handlers led him away.

A source close to Selig said that MLB office personnel then whisked Selig to a private office, where he was briefed about The World Baseball Classic tournament about ready to take place.

Once the concept of the WBC tournament sank in, the source said Selig gave a big nod and said, simply, "OHHHHH."

Then, Selig added, "HUH."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Favre: I Actually Retired Last November; Couldn't You Tell?

New York, NY (Feb. 13) - Quarterback Brett Favre expressed surprise that he had to formally announce his second retirement yesterday, telling reporters that he thought everyone knew he had quit last November.

"Wasn't it obvious?," Favre said with a derisive smirk. "I mean, look at the numbers."

The New York Jets went 1-4 over their last five games in 2008, with Favre throwing more interceptions than touchdown passes.

"I retired after our 11th game last year," Favre said, shrugging and making bemused faces. "What's the big news here? OK, you want an announcement? I retire. There," he said before turning to a bystander and rolling his eyes.

Former Jets coach Eric Mangini, now with Cleveland, corraborated Favre's assertion.

"Yeah, Brett retired when he said he did," Mangini said. "He announced it in the john while we were taking a piss after practice. He said, 'Coach, I'm done.' Then he shook off and left."

Mangini said he kept starting Favre, despite his retirement, because "that's the way Brett wanted it. He didn't want a big long tour or anything. He just wanted to end like all old quarterbacks do -- with shitty numbers and a gross degradation of skills."

Favre added yesterday that his performance in the Jets' final five games, post-retirement, should have made it "obvious to everyone" that he had hung up his spikes for good.

"Geez, I thought y'all would have caught on," he said, continuing to express amazement at the stupidity and lack of observation from the media. "I can't believe I have to spell it out for you. I quit, OK? Christ!"

New Jets coach Rex Ryan said that, while he hadn't spoken to Favre yet, he's hopeful that he can talk the 39-year-old out of retirement again.

"I'd love to have Brett back," Ryan said. "It's just not the NFL without Brett Favre haphazardly throwing the football all over the Goddamned field and breaking his own team's spirit.

"I'm looking forward to gouging my own eyes out over his reckless play," Ryan added in a statement released by the team.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

MLB To Play First Annual Summer Classic At Staples Center

New York, NY (Jan. 8) - In a nod to the National Hockey League's successful Winter Classic games, played outdoors in football and baseball stadiums, Major League Baseball announced that it will hold the First Annual Summer Classic -- a game between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox at Madison Square Garden.

The game, to be played on June 29th, will be the first in an annual series of games played in various arenas and stadiums throughout the country.

The Yankees and Red Sox will each wear throwback uniforms, and MSG will be converted into a baseball stadium for the day, albeit an oddly configured one.

Because of MSG's limitations, the left field foul pole will only be 188 feet from home plate, but the right field pole will be 375 feet away. Straightaway center field will be 245 feet, and the power alleys in left and right will be 225 feet and 266 feet away, respectively. To compensate, 75-foot high walls will be constructed, extending from the left field pole to right-center field.

In addition, the game will feature balls made of a heavy, clay-like substance, and the pitcher's mound will be 40 feet from home plate, instead of the traditional 60 feet, six inches.

Also, right-handed hitters will be forbidden from pulling the ball into left field, and any ball that hits the overhead scoreboard will be considered an out.

"This is what America is all about," said commissioner Bud Selig as he announced the unprecedented event. "We would be remiss if we didn't completely reconfigure our boundaries and squeeze a baseball park into a hockey and basketball arena for our loyal fans."

The Garden will be fitted with 35 tons of infield and warning track dirt and gravel, along with 22,000 square feet of Field Turf, a transformation that Selig said would take "just a few weeks."

Because of the remodeling, MSG will only be able to seat about 9,000 fans for the game. Tickets, Selig said, would be available on the Internet the morning of the game only.

Legendary former Knicks players Willis Reed and Patrick Ewing, plus former Rangers stars Rod Gilbert and Jean Ratelle, will each throw out ceremonial first pitches.

Yankees players are looking forward to the Summer Classic already.

"I used to watch Knicks games at Madison Square Garden a lot as a kid," said newly-signed pitcher CC Sabathia. "And I used to wonder what it would be like to one day play a baseball game there as a member of the Yankees. Now my dream will come true."

"It'll be awesome," said shortstop Derek Jeter. "Playing in Yankee Stadium was an honor, but to step into the batter's box near the very same spot where Ewing and Reed used to put up their jump shots -- well, that's pretty amazing."

Selig also said that at the seventh inning stretch, the Knicks' dancing team will perform, some tumblers will do some things involving mini-trampolines, and that both teams will have a morning "bat around" the day of the game.

Monday, December 29, 2008

NBA Player's Minutes "Just Right"; Doesn't Want Any More Or Any Fewer

Detroit, MI (Dec. 29) - In a refreshing change from the whining typically engaged in by NBA players regarding the amount of minutes they play, Detroit Pistons guard Rip Hamilton says his amount of playing time is "just right" and doesn't want to play any less, or any more.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," Hamilton said after practice yesterday.

Hamilton averages 33:44, which he says couldn't be any better.

"If I play any more than 34 minutes, I get fatigued," the energetic Hamilton said, referring to his frenetic style of running through screens and moving without the ball. "But if I play less than 33 minutes, I don't feel like I'm in rhythm. So everything's just right."

Pistons coach Michael Curry said that when he took the job last July, he was informed of Hamilton's strict regimen and tiny window of optimum minutes.

Hamilton's minutes are right where they should be, and should never change, lest the All-Star guard convulse or collapse

"Oh yes, I was quite aware of it," Curry said after being informed of Hamilton's comments yesterday. "So we hired a special 'minutes coach' who keeps track of Rip's playing time."

The narrow margin of sixty seconds -- to ensure that Hamilton's minutes stay between 33:00 and 34:00 -- is still somewhat of a challenge, though.

Just last week, in a tight game against Oklahoma City, Curry had to pull Hamilton from the game in the middle of a fastbreak. A couple weeks prior to that, Hamilton was inserted into a blowout win over Washington with only 3.3 seconds remaining, to push his minutes played to 33:02.

"It's not always easy," Curry admitted, "but that's what Rip is comfortable at."

The last time the Pistons played Hamilton for longer than 34 minutes, in early December against the Knicks (he played 34:15), Hamilton went into convulsions and had to be removed during the next stoppage of play. In New Jersey earlier this season, Hamilton played just 32:21 and collapsed in the team shower afterward.

Curry says that he plans on playing Hamilton for 33:40 tonight against Orlando, "God willing."

Just in case, team doctors are standing by.

Monday, December 22, 2008

NHL To Hold Some Sort Of Outdoor Event Thingie

Chicago, IL. (Dec. 22) - Curious onlookers have been gathering in recent days near Wrigley Field as quite a lot of activity, very unusual for this time of year, has been taking place around the ballpark.

Sources theorize that the goings-on have something to do with the National Hockey League, believe it or not.

"I saw some trucks with 'NHL' on them," said Dennis Coleman, 36, who works as an accountant near the stadium, as he stopped for a moment to look at workers moving in and out of the ballpark, usually dormant around Christmas time. He said he was on his lunch break.

Coleman and others who refused to be identified said that they heard the NHL was planning to "put something on" inside Wrigley.

"If you ask me, it looks like something pretty big," one onlooker said. "All these trucks and stuff."

Whatever it is, it clearly will be happening outside, which confused many North Side residents who passed by.

"Who the f*** would want to be at Wrigley Field NOW?," one man said. "It's five freaking degrees out. I mean, Jesus H. Christ!"

Rumors then quickly spread that the activity was in preparation of an outdoor NHL event, perhaps even a game.

"You gotta be sh****** me," a local beat cop said. "A GAME? Outdoors? In December?"

A financial planner who would only reveal his first name, Robert, went on his BlackBerry and did some quick research as he waited for the El train.

"New Year's Day! Outdoor game! Blackhawks and Red Wings!" he shouted as he got onto the train.

That information left the dozen or so gawkers in disbelief.

Phone calls placed to the NHL offices in New York were met with a recorded greeting that said the league would be back "after the holidays."

Friday, December 12, 2008

Lions To Peyton Manning: OH NO, OH GOD....NO!!!

Indianapolis, IN. (Dec. 12) - The 0-13 Detroit Lions showed up at the Indianapolis Colts' practice facility today in advance of their game here on Sunday and laid themselves at the feet of Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.

Grabbing onto Manning's ankles, Lions head coach Rod Marinelli began screaming in anguish.

"Peyton, NOOOO! OH GOD, NOOOO. PLEASE don't!!," Marinelli said, begging the Colts' star QB to not seriously hurt his football team.

Lions players then quickly joined Marinelli, sobbing uncontrollably and openly praying that Manning would "show even the tiniest amount of pity" and try to limit his touchdown passes to "no more than six" on Sunday.

Lions linebacker Paris Lenon led the impromptu prayer session, calling his teammates to kneel down, within several feet of Manning. At that point, Lenon began a prayer that lasted nearly three minutes and beseeched Manning to "look inside himself and find compassion" for the winless Lions, who are listed as "bajillion" point underdogs.

As Manning tried to shake Marinelli from his leg, Lions players converged, hugging Manning and otherwise trying to lay hands on him. All the while, Gregorian chants were heard from a portable CD player brought along by Lions PR man Bill Keenist.

Colts players were said to be too awestruck by the spiritual plea to interrupt it.

Manning himself eventually ceased his resistance and bowed his head, holding his hands up and murmuring a prayer of his own. Sources say Manning's prayer was a direct wish that the Heavenly Father have mercy on the souls of the Lions' defensive backs. In the prayer, the sources said, Manning told the Holy Spirit that how much punishment he inflicts on the Lions secondary was out of his hands and instead "in God's."

Marinelli was finally extricated from Manning's leg and then collapsed from emotion. He was then led away on a stretcher.

Colts head coach Tony Dungy, a longtime friend and colleague of Marinelli's, expressed sadness after the incident, which interrupted Colts practice for about 15 minutes.

"Brother Rod isn't heavy. It's a long, long road," Dungy said. "With many winding turns. That leads us to where? Who knows where?"

Then Dungy added, "Rod's a great competitor. I'm sure he'll have his team ready on Sunday."

Monday, December 8, 2008

Area Man Named Greg Thinks Dan Dierdorf Talking To Him

Landover, MD. (Dec. 8) - Friends say that 47-year-old truck driver Greg Philemon enjoys watching NFL games broadcasted by analyst Dan Dierdorf because he's convinced Dierdorf is referring to him whenever he uses the name "Greg" on the air.

Dierdorf works for CBS and is partnered with play-by-play man Greg Gumbel.

Still, Philemon's friends say that he "can't be convinced otherwise" that Dierdorf is speaking to him and not broadcast partner Gumbel.

Greg Philemon (above) is convinced he's the "Greg" mentioned in NFL broadcasts by Dan Dierdorf (top)

"It's kind of sad, really," says long time Philemon friend Robert Maloney. "Greg subscribed to NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTV just so he can make sure he never misses a Dierdorf game."

Maloney said that Philemon began believing Dierdorf was speaking to him "about three years ago."

"We were all at Ricky's house," Maloney said, referring to mutual pal Richard Meminger, "and the Colts-Bengals were on Sunday Ticket. And it was a Gumbel-Dierdorf game. All of a sudden Dierdorf says 'Greg' and starts talking about the play. So Ricky kids and says, 'Hey, Philemon -- Dierdorf's talking to you!' We were pretty toasted."

But apparently, Philemon took Meminger's words to heart, and said, "He IS?"

"We all kind of looked at each other," Maloney said.

What started out as a curious remark by Philemon to his friends turned into an all-too-real belief.

" convinced....that Dan Dierdorf is talking to him," Maloney said, sighing.

Maloney added that Philemon now even responds to Dierdorf.

"He'll say things like, 'Thanks, Dan', or 'No kidding?', or 'Good point.' He has these conversations with Dierdorf throughout the game. Just last week, he bragged that 'Dierdorf told me that the Colts like to run three wides on first down inside the 20 yard line.'

"I didn't have the heart to tell him that Dierdorf was saying those things to Greg Gumbel, and NOT him," Maloney added sadly.

This Sunday, Philemon is looking forward to "another Sunday with Dan," according to Maloney.

"That's what he calls it: 'another Sunday with Dan.'"

Philemon couldn't be reached for comment, as he was out Christmas shopping, which sources say includes "picking up something for Dan."