08 March 2005

HBO Ranked, BSMW on BDD, Sox/ Yankees...

WP- Chan Mien Wang
LP- Abe Alvarez
HR- J Giambi, H Matsui, T Nixon

Oh man, now I can finally say it. Ok, ready?

Let the Yankees have this one. We win the important games- in October.

FUCK that was fun. Anyway, I would have watched this, but... YES is run by fucking rabid, jackassed retards. Case in point: the Yankees played two split squad games yesterday- one at 1:05 against Cleveland at Legends Field in Tampa, and the other at 7:05 in Fort Myers at City of Palms Park against the Red Sox. So on my "INFO" section of the TV, at 7:05 on YES, there was scheduled "Spring Training Baseball." I tune it at 7, and they're playing a nice little video package with Kay gut wrenchingly telling of the Red Sox triumphant ALCS victory. And then... ahh yes, the game, right?


Hey Yankees fans in NYC- we're just going to replay the Cleveland game from this afternoon. I know we have a live one against the Red Sox here, their first meeting since Game 7... but we're going Cleveland. That's cool, right?

Flippin' idiots.


What's the best show on HBO? I was asking myself that question Sunday night after watching the Season Two premiere of Deadwood and the Season Two peak of Carnivale back-to-back. Since these are two arguably up for the running, I wondered who it was. So, to me, here are the candidates:

  • Curb Your Enthusiasm- Easily and without question the best running comedy on television, and arguably one of the greatest of all time. Boasts one of the more incredible comedy writers of all time in Larry David as it's creative helm, and a really amazing cast- including the totally underrated Jeff Garlin. "What the fuck?!"

  • The Wire- The writing on The Wire can't be topped on TV. It just can't. It's third season was a slight disappointment with a strong finish. Idris Elba's gonna be a star after this HBO movie Sometimes In April wins him every miniseries award under the sun. Too bad he's off the show...

  • Da Ali G Show- You'd be hard pressed to find anyone that sees this as the best HBO show, but it warrants mentioning in that it's "one of" the best, and really, Borat is the funniest character on TV. For real. "You like?"

  • The Sopranos- This is the one that started all of them. After a sluggish few seasons, the show truly returned to form this year, and though the finale was a let-down, preceding weeks were strong, especially the infamous "Dream Sequence Episode." It's still the standard for all dramas and large-in-scope TV shows.

  • Deadwood- Currently everyone's new favorite. You can see why- it's a Western, first of all, which is something lacking on TV. If you don't love a good Western, you're a loser. Let's be honest. But Ian McShane and the rest of the cast spewing this profane, beautiful dialogue and acting out this murderous, ingenious plotting is what makes arguably the most visually ambitions television production ever such a treat to watch. Just like every other great HBO series, it's like a buzz to watch it. Almost like they're revelling in all the freedom they have to create new and great things.

  • Carnivale- I'm knee deep in this one at the moment, and since the show is currently reaching it's creative peak- the last three episodes would be hard to choose from individually, but represent easily the height of the show's greatness- I may be a bit biased in it's favor. It's such a weird, mysterious, hard-to-place show. Something about it has this sort of credibility that fools you into thinking you're witnessing an account of true stories- the religious fanaticism, devil/ savior themes are just hard to deny. The stakes are really high, and the mysteries are scary- so it'd be that much more fun to find out, right?

  • Unscripted, Family Bonds, Real Time with Bill Maher, Entourage, Oz, Six Feet Under- For a variety of reasons, I'm not going to consider these series. Unscripted is too new, and while I didn't really enjoy it, it'd be unfair to Arli$$ it outright before being sure. Family and Real Time are, in varying degrees, pretty good (the former) and amazing (the latter), but they're reality-based, and I don't think I'll count that. Ali G gets a pass for being too funny to ignore on that front. Entourage had, in it's first season, one moment so fucking hilarious and great, I couldn't dismiss it out of hand despite largely hating it- the scene where Jeremy Piven confronts an up-and-coming rival agent and embarasses him in a crowd of people. Don't doubt Piven.

    Oz is no more. It'd seem odd to award the title to a show that's off the air, as brilliant as it was. Sidebar- ever notice HOW MANY actors have both Oz and a Law and Order show on their resumes? Finally, I didn't consider Six Feet Under cos it fucking sucks.

  • Arli$$- Ha! I know. Good one. How much do you think HBO would pay to have Arli$$ stricken from existence?

  • I guess my ultimate point in all this is- why on earth would you waste your time watching shows outside HBO? I mean, honestly, I don't even really know of any good fiction-based comedy/ dramas NOT on HBO, and not because there definitely aren't any, but just because I know they're not going to be much better than the ones I already watch.

    Wait, Arrested Development rules, and Law and Order would always have a problem being anything less than great. So nevermind that. Here's how my list would shake out:

    1. The Wire

    2. Curb Your Enthusiasm

    3. The Sopranos

    4. Carnivale

    5. Deadwood

    6. Da Ali G Show

    7. Taxicab Confessions (heh heh)


    I don't want to specifically cut-and-paste the entire article(s), so I'll link the issue and then sort of summarize. The long and short of it? Someone caught Steve Silva in an outright misrepresentation of a story on his site, and as he is being whisked through Fort Myers as Boston.com's roving reporter/ mediocre photographer, Boston Sports Media Watch has uncovered iron-clad proof of it.

    Where Does the 'Dirt' in 'Dirt Dogs' Come From? (3/2/05)
    Dirt Dog Fallout (3/3/05)
    The Reach of BDD (3/4/05)
    A Farewell to Ethics (3/6/05)
    Giambi In the House (3/8/05- scroll down for ESPN comment on BDD story)

    Here's the thrust of it, though the BSMW site is invaluable, a great blog wherein the sports media of Boston is picked apart and criticized (when deserving). A great way to keep track of it all. Anyway, the Dirt Dog story- DD ran a story on his blog claiming that when in Spring Training in Arizona with the Cubs, while signing autographs, he was asked if he was excited about getting a ring from the Red Sox, to which he (allegedly) responded "I don't want it. They can keep it." DD thanked his "Arizona corrispondent Jessica." There was much extraneous (but entirely expected) mudslinging too about Nomar's being an ingrate or what-have-you. If you search for it on the site, I'd be shocked if you didn't find it. Remember- he doesn't have to answer for these things for some reason.

    Anyway, BSMW does some digging and comes to find that "Jessica" was an outright hoax (presenting full score evidence in above links). In fact, "Jessica" invented the story just to see if Dirt Dog would run with it. Then, when he did, "Jessica" assumed another name, informing him the report was unfounded, and that it was likely untrue. There were no other sources to confirm the report. DD ran the story anyway, never taking it down. Another in a series of borderline lies from BDD (like the pathetic "NOMAR NAMED" headline leaving EVERYONE that read it thinking it referred to Nomar being linked to steroids in the Canseco book- only to have Silva claim innocence, and that it mean simply that Canseco "mentioned his name") that BSMW chronicles.

    Ultimately, since BDD is a part of boston.com, which is a part of The Boston Globe, and he is paid to maintain that site, and that site is linked on the FRONT PAGE of the Globe's online sports page, there should be some standard to which the Boston Dirt Dogs site is held. In fact, members of boston.com's editing team- namely Teresa Hanafin, mentioned that Dirt Dog would be "[held]...to the same editorial standards as the rest of the site." One has to wonder if this looks worse for the Hanafin or the editorial standards of the boston.com website. When confronted with the issue by BSMW, Hanafin replied,

    Oh, Bruce, please -- spare me. It's a blog, for God's sake. Lighten up. Given some of the content on your website, you're hardly in a position to be flinging mud.

    Hmm, so which is it? And ad hominem attacks from an editor at a major online news source to someone looking to confirm or criticize a news story? What's going on here?

    Further, during an ESPN broadcast, the story was mentioned in length on the air, adding it to a long list of channels that had mentioned the (false) report. When it was mentioned again by Rick Sutcliffe and Gary Thorne during a Cubs Spring Training broadcast, Nomar actually heard the report and called ESPN to clarify. Thorne and Sutcliffe got wind during said broadcast and cleared the air (though being a little misinformed as to sources, etc). Thorne, in fact, called for Silva's firing.

    And all the while, there he goes through Red Sox camp, taking pictures that go up on the MAIN SITE, and including captions that carry on with his pathetic Nomar agenda. To be blunt, boston.com, The Boston Globe and it's parent company The New York Times oughtta be embarassed, and REALLY ought to disassociate with the guy as fast as is humanly possible.

    Updates as they come...


    Papi hit a grand slam against the Twins the other day. Just mentioning.

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