Selig Drops Bombshell; Steroids Legal and Mandatory
On the heels of the NHL canceling their season, and as a majority of his league's teams open Spring Training officially, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig rocked the sports world with a second punch, reversing his position in announcing that all major league baseball players must take steroids.
Citing a need to reconcile the integrity of the bevy of new records set during the era of steroids, Selig said that "the cat is out-of-the-bag … And it's a big muscular cat"
"It's a new era", the commissioner offered in a statement. "With the overwhelming use of steroids, the records that have already been surpassed, and with some of baseball's most hallowed records due to fall in 2005, we need to level the playing field, so to speak."
The commissioner went on to say that it wasn't feasible or "in the best interests of the game" to ban hundreds and hundreds of players, and expunge the accomplishments achieved with the use of steroids.
"Jose Canseco's new book not withstanding, as there has been little public outcry, or government intervention, the easist route to take is to give the fans what they want"
Beginning with the 2005 season, steroids will be dispensed by Major League Baseball and, players and teams will be penalized if caught using non-MLB steroids. The new Steroid policy will go into effect throughout baseballs minor league system as well.
It's unclear if steroids will be made available to Major League Baseball's fans - with team logos and player endorsments - on www.mlb.com
Prosecution Plays Tape Showing Blake Confused, Confessing To Fictitious Murder
The prosecution in the trial of actor Robert Blake played a tape of their interrogation of Blake, which displayed a hesitant and confused Blake confessing to a fictitious murder.
Blake told police investigators that he was actually in Holcumb, Kansas on the evening of his wife's murder, with a friend, Dick Hicock. After lighting a cigarette, Blake detailed the execution of the four members of the Clutter family.
Blake was, apparently, reprising his 1967 break-through role of Perry Smith, in the film version of the riveting Truman Capote novel, 'In Cold Blood'.
Prosecutors had previously established, with numerous witnesses, of Blake's presence at the Hollywood restaurant, with his wife, on the night of her murder. The tape was used, prosecutors offered, to back up new evidence of Blake's alleged use of drugs.
Starbucks Abandons Coffee; Goes For Happy Hour Market
Following the announcement yesterday that they will start marketing, in partnership with Jim Beam Brands, a Coffee Liqueur, Starbucks indicated they will now become a full-service tavern, abandoning their profitable line of coffee to a secondary company property, Seattle's Best Coffee, whom they acquired in 2004.
In addition to Starbucks Coffee Liqueur, and a full range of alcoholic beverages, the over 8,000 Starbuck locations will change their decors, adding mahogany bars, stools and a retro, sawdust floor. In locations large enough, the tavern and the coffee shop will sit side-by-side.
Other changes with the new direction have WiFi outlets being replaced with slot machines and Keno screens. A certain percentage of retail locations will also have pool tables. Menu changes are in place, as the cookies and pastries go, replaced by hard-boiled eggs and corned-beef sandwiches.
"We've done extensive research" stated founder Howard Schultz in a statement released. "This is the direction that will maximize our stock and the investment in the Starbucks brand."
Stabucks Cards will be honored at both the new taverns and coffee locations.
Friday, February 18, 2005
9. Taking a paycut to head post; Can't open private social security account
8. Doesn't know how he'll convince administration to let his buddies, the Honduran military, be the Coalition of the Willing
7. Knows where the Weapons of Mass Destruction are; Has to wait awhile before springing scoop
6. Artist Christo stole his idea for new terrorist warning system with the orange gates
5. Central Intelligence Agency director Porter Goss refuses to call him 'El Jeffe'
4. Keeps getting calls from Oliver North, needling him to 'come clean'
3. Pocket Change - Left his bags in Nicaragua
2. Due to recent scandal, can't put Armstrong Williams on payroll to publicize department's programs
1. Will have a tough time convincing Congress to designate the Contra's as a legitamite branch of his deparment
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Slumping Wrist Band Sales Force Armstrong Into 7th Tour
With a new sponsor, and slumping wrist bands sales, six-time champion Lance Armstrong announced yesterday that he will ride in the 2005 Tour de France, looking to extend his incredible record of consecutive victories in cycling's most prestigious event.
With the Discovery Channel now a sponsor, some sources indicate that slumping sales of the Lance Armstrong wrist band, may be the bigger factor in the 34-year-old champion's decision to enter the race. In 2004, Armstrong became the only six-time winner of the historic competetion.
This year's race, taking place July 2-24, goes 21 stages, including traveling through Germany, covering over 2,200 miles.
"Let's hope he can ride", offered one race wag. "And it's not Joe Louis shaking hands at a nightclub kind-of-thing".
Plans call for a new wristband to be available this summer, simply adorned with 'No. 7' and the Discovery Channel logo.
Pay-Per-View Scores Big; Signs Up Sugar vs. Splenda Bout
Outbidding Home Box Office's Big Night boxing series, the Food Network and Mark Cuban's HDNet, Pay-Per-View has landed the much anticipated super clash between long-time favorite, Sugar, versus precocious newcomer, Splenda.
Sources close to the talks indicate bids exceeded the speculated $150-million mark and could be as high as $250-million, or more.
A three-day tournament will pit Sugar vs. Splenda over a variety of grueling tests - from fruit juice and soda tastings, to foods, sauces and baking requirements. Along with taste, nutrition quality and caloric counts will weigh in the scoring.
Expert food tasters, chemists, farmers and corporate marketers and advertisers are in place to judge the contest. In the case of any controversy, a team of top-tier law firms will be on-hand to quickly secure depositions and file briefs.
Ricky Williams Waived By Marlins - Sort Of
Appearing glassy-eyed and disoriented, and cathing Manger Jack McKeon, and the rest of the Florida Marlins off-guard, retired star running back of the Miami Dolphins, Ricky Williams, reported for spring traing duty.
"I thought that maybe they made a deal without telling me", McKeon stated.
Reports indicate that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and President David Samson were called down to the field, when Williams refused to leave, even boasting to the reporters gathering that he was the Marlins centerfielder "until someone takes it away from me".
While the rest of the Marlins team and prospects went about their workouts, Mckeon, Loria, Samson and Williams huddled in the dugout, talking, and, at times, the discussion being very animated. After some 20-minutes, the group broke, with Loria and Samson escorting Williams to his car in the parking lot.
In a statement released later in the day, Samson indicated at no time was Ricky Williams a member of the Florida Marlins, could not explain his sudden appearance, or state-of-mind and, to resolve the situation, the Marlins agrees to "waive" Williams as he felt he still had time to catch on with another team.
9. Beyond The Game: Behind The Make-Up; The Dark History of Rodeo Clowns
8. 2005 Division 3 Intramural Freshman Ping Pong Championship
7. Inside Sports Special: ESPN follows writer Peter Gammons, who takes steroids and writes 3-million-page history of sports
6. The Checkered Flag - Are the fumes from the high-powered Formula One racecars killing it's audience? ESPN takes a look
5. Let's Get Ready To … Spell! - ESPN places boxing ring announcer Michael Buffer in the National Spelling Bee contest
4. Monster Truck Slam Dunk - Customized vehicles driven by NBA stars, trying to put themselves through gigantic baskets
3. Up Close and Personal: Roy Firestone takes steroids, interviews himself for sixteen-hours
2 Ayatollah Texas Hold'em - ESPN rounds up the top clerics and sits them down in Las Vegas for a three-day tournament
1. Celebrity Log Rolling - Week 1 pits Kelly Rippa versus Al Roker
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
9. Alicia Keys - Big Grammy winner; Can help move the HP iPods
8. Philadelphia Eagles QB, Donovan MCNabb - Will do a good job but screw-up everyday around 4:45PM
7. Paris Hilton - No experience running big company but boy, what PR she'll generate
6. Karl Malone - Recently retired from NBA; He delivers!
5. Al Franken - Also no experience but look at all the free exposure HP will get on Bill O'Reilly's show
4. Dan Rather - Whatever he doesn't know about running HP, he'll make it up
3. Donald Rumsfeld - Tough, has what it takes; Will crush competetion, faster, lighter and cheaper ("High Tech isn't pretty")
2. AOL's Steve Case - He's already screwed up one merger so no trouble that he'll do it again
1. Ray Romano - Series ending, looking for work; Everybody will love'em
Google Launches Search for Famed Woman Aviator
Citing the development of a new, super algorithm, Google announced today that they are leading a search for Amelia Earhart, the pioneering woman aviator, lost since her 1937 attempt to cross the world.
Backed by being the overwhelming dominant search engine in the marketplace, and with billions in reserve as a result of their successful IPO in 2004, Google has recruited an unprecedinted amount of new talent that has worked for months on developing this new, high-powered, super algorithm.
"This really opens up some new territory" stated CEO Eric E. Schmidt, in a statement released by the company.
Yahoo, Ask Jeeves and A9 refused comment.
Microsoft's search engine, MSN, issued a terse statement, stating that "… with the forthcoming release of Longhorn, searches like this will be routine …"
Finding Earhard is a formidable task. Over $4-million was spent in the search for the record-breaking woman aviator, last heard from on June 29, 1937 after leaving New Guinea, with navigator Fred Noonan, on the quest to be the first woman to cross the globe in an airplane. The search centered in the area of Howland Island in the mid-Pacific, based on the last, weak, static-filled radio transmissions.
Schmidt went on to say that Google is confident they will turn in positive results and that other major search projects are being considered, including searching for former Teamster leader, Jimmy Hoffa and infamous skyjacker, D.B. Cooper.
NBA, Reebok To Launch New Reality Show: Box & Shoot
In announcing a new, $7-Million marketing campaign to bolster it's image, the National Basketball Association and Reebok International, the NBA's new offficial supplier of uniforms and footwear, are teaming up to produce a new, reality television program.
With the 2005 All Star game taking place next weekend, the NBA has been saddled with PR problems in the wake of the Koke Bryant trial, the failure of its' stars to win Olympic Gold, the rantings of Latrell Sprewell turning down a contract worth millions, citing "... I've got my family to feed …" and the incident involving Ron Artest and the Indiana Pacers going into the stands to fight with fans last year.
Ironically, it is that fighting incident that is the genus of this new, Reality TV venture - Box & Shoot.
The entire series will be filmed at NBA arenas, during half-time, where selected players will have to score 10-points in two-minutes, plus fight with a fan. And not just any fan.
Seated in a designated area will be 'celebrity fans', who will taunt and throw things at the players, and a panel of three judges to score the fighting element of the program. The player with the highest combination of points, from both scoring and fighting, advances in the program.
The NBA and Reebok haven't announced which players will participate in the program, but the celebrities, in Reebok attire and footwear, include;
Spike Lee, Evander Holyfield, Paris Hilton, Michael Caine, Travis Smiley, Angie Dickenson, Reebok's Terrible Tate, Bono, Larry Flynt, Larry King, Senator Bill Frist, Carrot Top, cast members from the O.C. and more celebrities to-be-announced.
Local media personalities will make up the panel of judges and extra security will be in place to keep regular fans from entering into the action.
Straight Eye for the Queer Guy To Roll Out This Spring
Riding the wave of success, producers David Collins, Michael Williams and David Metzler announced yet another show to debut in their string of their popular 'Queer Eye' series - but with a twist.
Get ready for Straight Eye for the Queer Guy.
Hosted by the trio of Jesse Ventura, Erik Estrada and Sam Donaldson, a gay man in New York, San Francisco and Houston will be educated in the ways of straighness. Activities will range from bowling, to tailgating and football games, to golf fashion and visits to the plumbing store.
To tie in with another series on Bravo, there'll be a special Straight Eye for the Queer Guy Poker Challenge, but don't expect any Felix Unger to show up.
"We're going Oscar Madison the whole way with this", offered Metzler.
Assisting the macho trio will be a bevy of steaming testosterone, with cameo appearances from Bob Villa, Bill Parcells, Vin Diesel, Brian Bosworth, Brad Pitt, Tom Jones, a special appearance from NBC Nightly News Anchor, Brian Williams and more personalities to-be-announced.
"We're still debating if we should let the Fab Five in on this" offered Collins. "I mean, those poor boys, they're going to need some help".
Stockholm Opera Conductor Dies at 86
The former Stockholm Opera conducter, Sixten Ehrling, famous for his conducting Stravinsky's 'Rite of Spring' in the 1950's, as well as his short temper with audiences, passed away at the age of 86.
His successful career, which included conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, spanned over 722 concerts and 24 world premieres.
Sixten is survived by his wife, Onefour and two daugters, Threeseven and Fivenine.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Zeta-Jones Takes Over Harvard
With Tim Robbins due in town today to receive his 2005 Hasty Pudding Club Man-of-the-Year Award, Someone forget to tell actress Catherine Zeta-Jones that her Woman-of-the-Year Award given last week was only supposed to be a one-day deal. Receive the award, take part in the revue, have a lot of fun and be gone.
Sources to The Garlic indicate that Zeta-Jones has set up camp at Harvard University, taking over the office of President Lawrence H. Summers and is running the Ivy League school with an iron fist.
"She flew in a whole staff of people from Hollywood", one sources offered. "They pushed Larry and his staff out and have been taking over everything … Appointments, tenure hearings, hiring of faculity …. It's been a real zoo …"
One of Zeta-Jones first iniatitives, another source offered, was to "raise the profile of Harvard". Zeta-Jones has begun making plans to film a number of T-Mobile commericials inside Harvard Yard. Zeta-Jones is a paid endorser of T-Mobile.
Zeta-Jones is also considering remaking a number of movies - and casting herself in key roles - that have featured Harvard, such as 'Love Story' and 'The Paper Chase'. Also in the works is to give husband, actor Michael Douglas, an honary degree from Harvard at the May commencement ceremonies.
A spokesperson for Zeta-Jones indicated that the actress plans on meeting with Robbins and offering him a position in her administration.
Sources also report that Zeta-Jones's move has set off panic in the Ivy League, as both Yale and Princeton, not to be out-done by Harvard, have set up committees to seek out a high-profile actor or actress to run their universities.
Survey Shows Flat Panel Screens Not Gaining Male Usage
The Consumer Electronics Association released findings of it's study conducted last year, showing a 69% drop in flat screen panels purchases for their computers by men.
The study, funded in part by a consortium of flat screen and PC manufacturers, were hoping for better news to help them fight off a slumping industry.
While 23% of the respondents indicated they preferred flat screens, and that it didn't effect the performance of the computer, the overwhelming majority saw things different.
Of the 69% negative responses;
28% said they just couldn't get excited over flat screen panels
22% asked for a bit more robust-looking screen, something with alittle curve to it
12% stated they just like big, fat screens
There was a plus-minus ratio of 4, for those too shy to answer the questions.
Ex-Beatle McCartney Signs Up With NFL For Half-Time Tour in 2005
Citing having an overwhelming, wonderful feeling performing in the large, AllTel Stadium in Jacksonville for this years' Super Bowl, Paul McCartney, the ex-Beatle, has signed on with the NFL to be the exclusive, featured halftime performer throughout the 2005 NFL season.
McCartney will appear in each NFL stadium, at least once during the season and his performances will be broadcast live to all other NFL stadiums that day hosting a game. The schedule may be set where McCartney will perform in 2 or 3 stadiums in a single day and he will also appear on all Monday, Thursday, and Sunday night special NFL broadcasts.
Talks are on-going between McCartney and his agent with the Canadian Football for a similar arrangement. The CFL plays an opposite schedule from the NFL (June-Nov; NFL plays Sept-Dec) and a majority of CFL games are played on Friday's or Saturdays, offering little overlap with the NFL.
Once the CFL deal is in place, McCartney plans on talking with the Australian Football League, whose season stretches from March-September, with most games played on Friday's.
Jazz Classic Declared Official Time Mark
'Round About Midnight, the Jazz classic, penned by the great pianist Thelonious Monk, has been delcared an official element of timekeeping.
After years of debate and dispute, the U.S. Naval Observatory, the official timekeeper of the United States, and the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, keepers of Greenwich Meridian Time, have come to agreement as to the designation for 'Round About Midnight'.
The minutes between 2358-hours and 2402-hours (1158PM and 12:02AM) may be referred to by the term 'Round About Midnight'
Written by the legendary Monk, the song took off in popularity after a Miles Davis peformance of it at the 1955 Newport Jazz Festival and has come to be a classic and standard in many artists' playbook. Since that performance, Jazz and timekeeping loyalists have been lobbying organizations and governments for the declaration.
"We're very excited", offered Horton Livermore of Troupsberg, New York, one of the leading advocates for 'Round About Midnight. "We're having a new clock made up right away".
9. Signed-up on Match.Com under the name of 'Donny Bombs Away
8. Posed for private, sexy pictures - without his glasses on
7. Ordered the U.S. Troops in Iraqi to put heart decals on all bombs and grenades
6. Flew to his old NATO hangout in Brussels for some "hands-on" foreign policy
5. Offered to "straighten out" the Vice President's daughter
4. Made his staff address him as 'Secretary of Love' for the day
3. Sent bouquets made from bullets to his sweethearts
2. Admitted he was secretly in love with reporter Helen Thomas
1 Called a meeting with the Secretary of State; Offered to show her his Weapon of Mass Destruction
Monday, February 14, 2005
Nader Runs Strong in Iraq Election; Misses Seat
Despite a remarkable strong showing in the recent Iraq elections, Ralph Nader missed out on a seat in the new Iraq National Assembly by a few thousand votes.
Running on the Green Party slate, and as an independent, Nader barnstormed the country in December, on a platform of peace and alternative energy. Due to his celebrity-status, and his constant criticism of President Bush, Nader drew a surprising large following.
Nader placed 287th in a field of thousands, vying for one of the seats in the 275-person National Assembly.
However, much like his efforts in the United States, Nader was barred from most of the sanctioned debates and, he complained frequently of the lack of coverage of his campaign by Al Jazeera. Local Iraq coverage of Nader's stops was infrequent.
Bloomberg Announces Central Park 'Gate' Toll
The new public art installation of 'The Gates' by the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude has been set up in Central Park and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today that Central Park visitors, walkers and joggers will have to pay at toll if they are to take-in the art along the 23-miles of walkway in the park.
For 16 days, "The Gates", like giant croquet targets, will be in place, with 7,500 saffron-colored panels hanging above pedestrians.
New York officials expect an unusually high amount of traffic in Central Park for the month of February and that, they say, is going to strain and already stretched city budget.
"We really wish we could avoid this toll" offered the diminutive Mayor. "It's such a lovely, and unique, addition to Central Park that we hope all New Yorkers will come to view it.
Plans call for attendants to be stationed as various points along 'The Gates' route to collect the tolls and, visitors can purchase a prepaid card that will be scanned for the correct toll.
Apple To Split Stock; Follow Google With Unique Auction For New Shares
Get ready for iPodStock.
With the success of the iPod accounting for nearly 35% of Apple Computer's profits, and pushing their stock to triple its' value, the Cupertino-based company announced they will be conducting a 2-1 stock split.
And Apple is taking a page of the auction-style IPO conducted by search giant, Google, last year.
Once the share price is established, and on a date to-be-announced, share buyers will have to visit www.ipodstock.com, where they can bid and purchase their shares and download them to their iPods. No paper certificates will be issued. And, as with their successful iTunes, iPodStock will not be compatible with other MP3 or PDA formats.
For current Apple shareholders, they will have the option of purchasing a specially-issued Apple stock-loaded iPod.
For Rock, Exit, Stage Left after Grammy Faux Paux
Perhaps his GPS wasn't working, or he misread his Blackberry. For comedian Chris Rock, there wasn't one big enough to hide under.
As the broadcast for the 47th Annual Grammy Awards began last night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Rock bounded on stage to welcome the audience, stunning host Queen Latifah, who was walking on stage from the opposite wing.
Trouble is, he wasn't supposed to be there.
Rock is due to host the 77th Academy Awards that will be presented later this month, on Sunday, February 27, 2005, and will be telecast live from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
Embarassed, Rock hurriedly left the stage and, as there was a slight delay to the broadcast, the gaffe went unseen by the television audience. Queen Latifah re-entered the stage and the evening's program went on, as scheduled. Latifah made no reference to the false Rock entrance in her opening remarks.
Rock, or his agent and manager could not be reached for comment.
9. Launch Prell Grants - All college students to have clean hair; Win votes of their parents
8. Teach all candidates to scream the State names
7. Dump those pecker-headed, 'Live-Free-or-Die radicals in New Hampshire; Move first
primary to Vermont
6. Pay-off the Swift Boat Veterans to pick on the Republican candidates
5. Promise to pack the Supreme Court with cast members from the O.C.
4. Coach all Democratic candidates to lie, cheat and distort facts just as good as the Republicans
3. Pay-off Al Gore not to endorse any Democatic candidates
2. Add free porn to the DNC website
1. Make note; Get Democratic Nominee's brother elected Governor of Florida before