Tag Archives: Tim Stauffer

The Murdoch scandal just keeps growing. Suing your sister for Duke tickets. And a Tim Stauffer update

I haven’t written about the Rupert Murdoch/England/voicemail hacking story yet, because, well, no good reason. I just hadn’t gotten around to it. But now that this thing keeps growing and growing (Murdoch took out a full-page ad in his papers this weekend apologizing, and then Rebekah Brooks, one of his most trusted lieutenants, was arrested Sunday), I had a few thoughts:

— Slowly but surely, this scandal is growing beyond Britain and is going to have an impact on his properties in the U.S. Can you imagine if evidence comes out that Fox News has stealing Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton’s voicemails? You have to believe that if ole’ Rupert’s papers in England were doing this stuff, the NY Post, Wall Street Journal and Fox News could’ve been doing it, too. I’ll be stunned if the Post isn’t somehow implicated.

— Hard to believe that after so many years of vicious success, something like this could bring down Murdoch. Is it possible he’d have to sell Fox News?

— As a former journalist (God that feels weird to type, the former part) this is what I always wonder about scandals like this: Was it worth it? Was there really anything so juicy or interesting that it was worth the risk? Great piece by Carl Bernstein in last week’s Newsweek about Murdoch and the culture he created.

— It’s been hilarious watching the British politicians squirm as they try to distance themselves from Murdoch, a guy so many of them are in bed with. There is no one human being in U.S. politics as influential as Murdoch is in the U.K.
— Finally, I’m sure Fox will somehow report that this is all a big ole’ Democratic plot.

**So Duke basketball tickets are a pretty hot item. I know I’d love to get my hands on some, being a huge fan and all. Having been there a bunch of times in my life, I have to say Cameron Indoor Stadium is one of the greatest venues in all of sport.
Well, the  Caudle and Dorton families of Raleigh, N.C. tend to agree. A woman named Katina Dorton is currently suing her sister, Sophia Caudle over Duke season tickets once belonging to their late father. Dorton claims that Sophia’s husband arranged for the tickets to be transferred to he and Sophia without any prior consent from father John Dorton.
I’m totally with Katina on this one. Those tickets are way too valuable to give up without a fight.
And hey, nothing like a good family feud!

**You may remember that I’ve written a few times about my old pal Tim Stauffer, a pitcher for the San Diego Padres who is a really good guy with great parents, and has suffered through tons of injuries and disappointment in his major league career. Every few weeks I check the MLB.com website to see how he’s doing, and I’m thrilled to report that through the first half of this season, Timmy has been freaking fantastic.
Even though he plays on a crappy team that never scores any runs for him, he’s got a 2.97 ERA, which is phenomenal. He’s got a 5-6 record but is finally pitching like the guy who was a Top-5 pick in the draft seven years ago.
Good on ya, Timmy.


A nominee for worst father of the year, a book recommendation, and a Tim Stauffer update

I know it’s only July, but you’re going to have to be a pret-ty big douchebag to beat this guy for worst Father of the Year.

A youth baseball coach in Pennsylvania named Ray Boudreau was arrested last week for allegedly punching his 9-year-old son in the face twice after the boy was ejected from the game.

Absolutely revolting. This guy should never be allowed to coach kids again. And yet another reason parents coaching their own kids can sometimes bring out the worst in the grown-up.

**I think I’ve mentioned this book before, but I heard the author talking on NPR today and it reminded me to plug his outstanding work again. Dexter Filkins has been an outstanding war reporter for the New York Times for the past decade, and he wrote a book last year called The Forever War, about his time in Iraq and Afghanistan. I know it’s not exactly “light summer reading,” but it’s an outstanding explanation of some of the problems plaguing the U.S. there, as well as a heartbreakingly poignant tale of human stories from Filkins’ travels. It’s only five bucks on Amazon right now; I highly, highly recommend it.

**Random interlude: My wife was looking at a bag recently and saw the word “degradeable” on it. She wondered, as did I, if this would have an effect on the bag’s self-esteem.
“Does this mean you are allowed to yell at the bag?” she wondered. “You suck! You’re a terrible excuse for a bag! Your brother was much better! I know bags who can hold 20 more pounds than you!”
Yeah, this is how we amuse ourselves in the Lewis house.

**Finally, an update on my old friend Tim Stauffer, the baseball player who is the pride of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. My man Tim has had an injury-riddled career, but was having a great season for San Diego until he had to have an emergency appendectomy in May.
Two months later, he’s finally healthy again, and Stauffer threw a scoreless inning for the Padres Friday night. Good job, Tim.

The delightfulness of “Glee”

gleeSo about a minute after I saw the premiere episode of the new Fox show “Glee,” a question popped into my head:
How the hell did this ever get on network TV?
I’ve argued before that there are hardly any interesting shows on the broadcast networks anymore; everything is so safe and watered down and sanitized, for the general masses.
So how in the name of John Phillip Sousa did a show about a high school glee club and their oddball teacher get on Fox?
“Glee” is awesome. It’s subversive and funny and sarcastic and possibly brilliant, though after only three episodes I’m a little hesitant to call it brilliant.
If you haven’t seen it, the first three episodes are on Hulu.com linked here, and I highly recommend it.
Basically, it’s about a very-low-on-the-coolness-totem-pole high school glee club, and their struggle to gain acceptance and deal with each other.
  There’s Rachel, the way overachieving lead female singer, who reminds me a little of Tracy Flick from “Election.”  Rachel’s  got a crush on the best guy singer, Finn, who happens to also be the football quarterback but really, he just wants to sing Journey.
  There’s also a loud African-American in the glee club, a kid in a wheelchair (who sadly gets locked in a port a potty in one episode; I told you it was a little subversive), and a teacher, Mr. Schuster, who was once a glee club star and yearns to see the McKinley High group reach its past glory.
Of course, there are problems, starting with the hilarious Jane Lynch (she was Steve Carell’s boss in “40-year-old Virgin.”) She’s the coach of the “Cheerios,” the cheerleading squad at the school, and of course she hates Glee. There’s also Quinn, the cute blonde cheerleader who’s the president of the Chastity Club at the school (also Finn’s girlfriend; now do you see why he’s frustrated and needs to sing?).

I won’t give away anything except to say that the pilot was supremely awesome, and the next two episodes have been great, too.
I’m reluctant to give my heart to this show because most brilliant stuff on TV gets cancelled; America can’t handle intelligent programming, sadly.
  So even though I’m sure “Glee” will be cancelled within a year, I say definitely check it out.

And oh yeah, the kid in the wheelchair makes it out of the port-o-potty OK. Just didn’t want you to worry.

**I’m getting frighteningly confident about the Jets this weekend. I know they’ll just break my heart, but it’s Patriots week, so I’m even more fired up than usual.

**Tim Stauffer update: My old friend from Saratoga Springs continues to pitch well for the Padres; he took a loss Friday night but his ERA is still 3.51, pretty damn good for a pitcher these days. Great to see Tim doing so well.

Stauffer update, “The Reader,” torture and an African baseball player: A grab-bag post

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Yes, I may have set the record for longest blog headline there. What do you want from me; I’ve got lots of things on my mind that I wanted to blog about today.

Let’s get right to it, dear readers of mine, for whom I am grateful (believe me, I realize there aren’t that many of you yet, so I appreciate all of you!)

  ***So if you’ve been reading me for the past month, you know two of my favorite athletes right now, and two really good guys you should root for, are San Diego Padres pitcher Tim Stauffer and basketball player/author Lance Allred.  Both are having outstanding months. Stauffer, despite getting no run support for the pathetic Padres, has continued to pitch terrifically for the Padres as he tries to establish himself as a big-leaguer. He’s got a 1-4 record, but a sparkling 2.90 ERA. He threw five innings of one-run ball against the Mets Sunday.

As for my main man Lance, the 6-foot-11 deaf Fundamentalist Mormon who I wrote about here, he just signed a contract to play for Napoli of the Italian League. That’s one of the better leagues in Europe, and plus, who wouldn’t want to hang out in Italy for nine months? Big props to Lance.

     ***You know sometimes when you hear so much abuot a movie and a performance and you build it up in your mind, and then you actually see it and you’re like, “Eh.” That’s kind of how I felt the other night after seeing “The Reader.” It was good, no doubt, but it wasn’t SO sensational. Kate Winslet was, of course, fantastic. She’s truly an amazing actress, and a beautiful woman, yet it seems like she’s so much less famous in America than she should be. I loved her in “Titanic” and everything I’ve seen her in since.

But the movie was just pretty good. I think Ralph Fiennes was wasted, since he had only four scenes or so. Without giving too much away, I just don’t feel like the director established why Fiennes’ character Michael was so deeply affected by his relationship with Winslet’s Hannah. I give it 2 1/2 stars, maybe three.

***So the American Civil Liberties Union takes a lot of crap from conservatives, because it’s an automatic applause line for them. Heaven forbid we have a strong organization in this country that’s actually looking out and making sure people’s rights aren’t violated. Because, you know, the Bush-Cheney folks NEVER did that.

Anyway, I love the ACLU, and I love even more that they put out this video to put pressure on Attorney General Eric Holder to hold hearings on our torturing of prisoners. It’s chilling to hear this stuff out loud, and to realize that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld didn’t care that it was going on.

Some of the famous folks in the video are Oliver Stone, actor Noah Emmerich, and actress Rosie Perez (who, apropos of nothing, my wife does a killer impression of):

 ******Rafael Nadal returns to the tennis court in singles Wednesday night for the first time in almost three months. I am annoyed it’s not on TV, but thankfully ESPN will be showing the quarters, semis and finals starting Friday. I have a feeling we’ll know VERY soon if Rafa is back to being himself. For the sake of my favorite sport, I really hope he is.

***Finally, saying a Gary Smith story in Sports Illustrated is terrific is kind of like saying water is wet. Just about every Gary Smith story in SI is brilliant. I swear, I read him some times and I feel like he and I aren’t even in the same profession.

If you’re not familiar with him, check out this piece on former New York City basketball star Richie Parker, my favorite Smith piece ever. He is SO fair and so balanced in his reporting, that at the end I found myself conflicted, when I never in a million years thought I’d be.

Anyway, he wrote another great story in last week’s issue about a kid named Gift who’s trying to the first-ever Major League Baseball player from Africa. Really fascinating stuff if you have a chance to read it; it’s not nearly as long as most of Smith’s usual stuff.

OK, done rambling for one day.