Tuesday, August 31, 2010

N.A.S.A. - "Chase The Devil" (2010)

Watch Out For Ronnell Lewis (Video)

In 2009, freshman linebacker Ronnell Lewis was a legend because of his vicious hits as a special teams player. When he drew the start in the Sun Bowl, Sooner fans got a glimpse of what the future looks like. Now Oklahoma fans are going to have the opportunity to see "The Hammer" line up in a new position from time to time. In August, the Oklahoma Football Practice Report mentioned giving him some time at defensive end in passing situations.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Strasburg Needs Tommy John Surgery

"It’s a new challenge," Strasburg said. "I want to be the best at everything, and right now I want to be the best at rehabbing and getting back out here."
Stephen Strasburg has a torn elbow ligament and will likely have Tommy John surgery, bringing the pitcher's promising rookie season to an abrupt end.

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Friday an MRI on the right elbow revealed a "significant tear." Strasburg will travel to the West Coast for a second opinion, but Rizzo anticipates the 22-year-old right-hander will need the operation that requires 12 to 18 months of rehabilitation.

"As you can imagine, he was initially upset," Rizzo said. "But he has really turned himself from being upset to being focused on his rehabilitation. He's determined to get the surgery done and begin the process of rehabilitation."

Strasburg was pulled from Saturday's game at Philadelphia when he grimaced while grabbing and shaking his wrist after throwing a changeup to Dominic Brown. The Nationals initially called the injury a strained flexor tendon in the forearm, but an MRI taken Sunday raised enough questions for the Nationals to order a more extensive MRI in which dye is injected into the arm.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft, Strasburg struck out 14 batters in a sensational major league debut in June. He is 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 68 innings with the Nationals, who have kept him on strict pitch counts and had planned to shut him down once he reached about 105 innings.

But he has had medical setbacks along the way, despite the team's best efforts to be as cautious as possible with its prized youngster. He was placed on the disabled list a month ago because of inflammation in the back of his right shoulder. He was making his third start since returning from the DL when he had to leave the game against Philadelphia.

Rizzo said doctors believe Strasburg hurt himself on a particular pitch, as opposed to a gradual buildup. When Strasburg grimaced in game at Philadelphia, he told the team he had felt something similar at San Diego State and had continued to pitch through it. Doctors have decided that what happened in college was unrelated to the ligament tear.

Strasburg is an intense, competitive pitcher. He wasn't thrilled with having to start the season in the minors or with the restrictions the Nationals placed on him. Now he faces the realistic prospect of not pitching again until 2012.

Coincidentally, Thursday's game marked the return of Jordan Zimmermann, another young Washington pitching prospect who had Tommy John surgery a year ago. His counterpart, Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals, has also had the operation.

"I look at the bright side," Rizzo said. "Tommy John surgery is a surgery that we've had great success at. The success rate for guys coming back from Tommy John and retaining their stuff is very good. We saw two examples of it on the mound yesterday at Nationals Park."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Spotlight: Jim Marshall

The iconic rock photographer Jim Marshall died in his sleep on March 23, 2010 in New York. He was 74 years old.

After returning home from serving in the Air Force, Marshall had a chance encounter with John Coltrane: when Coltrane asked him for a lift, Marshall obliged and the jazz legend returned the favor by letting Marshall shoot nine rolls of film.

Soon after, Marshall moved to New York and was hired by Atlantic and Columbia to shoot their artists at work in the studio, including Bob Dylan and Ray Charles. But it was when Marshall returned to the San Francisco in the late Sixties that he produced his most indelible work, taking hundreds of photographs of the Dead, Joplin, Jefferson Airplane and Santana.

He developed special bonds with the artists he covered and those relationships helped him capture some of his most vivid and iconic imagery.
Marshall was given unparalleled access to rock’s biggest artists. He was the only photographer granted backstage access for the Beatles’ final full concert at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park in 1966. He shot the Rolling Stones on their historic 1972 tour. He's responsible for the famous photo of Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar at the Monterey Pop Festival and that legendary shot of Johnny Cash flipping off the camera at San Quentin.

Jim Marshall lived the rock n' roll lifestyle as hard, if not harder, than most during the heyday of the late 60's and 1970's, having been barred from at least two national hotel chains for damage to rooms and outrageous behavior. He was known for his fierce loyalty to his friends and was often willing to give his last dollar for someone in need.

He was also known to have at least one Leica camera with him at all times. There's a famous story of a CEO that offered to buy the camera that he used to shoot Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock for 25,000 dollars (in 1973). He responded "Get the hell out of here."

Marshall's Collection
Iconic Photographs from his 2009 book Trust

World Outdoor High Dive Record (Video)

Dana Kunze (born in 1961) is an eight-time world champion high-diver and seven-time world record holder for the highest dive. In 1983, he set the World Outdoor High Dive record at 172 feet (52.4 m) at Sea World in California.

Check out his dive, and listen for his shout-out to Virginia Tech.

Four years later in 1987, Swiss bro Oliver Favre set the current World Outdoor High Dive record at 177 feet (53.9 m) in France. He also set the current World Indoor High Dive record at 110 feet (33.52 m) in 1997.

But supposedly Kunze (now 49 years old) wants another shot at the record, because last year his website announced that he is training to break the record again. He would perform his patented Reverse Triple Somersault (Triple Gainer) from 180 feet. The date and site have yet to be disclosed, but they say the show would be aired live on national TV.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

LT Signed Two-Year Contract with Jets

For the first time in his career, Tomlinson entered the free-agent market, with many teams expressing interest. He signed a two-year/$5.2 million contract with the New York Jets on March 14, 2010.

Tomlinson left the Chargers as their all-time leading rusher, though his yardage steadily declined after his MVP 2006 season. That season, he rushed for 1815 yards and 28 TDs, accumulated another 508 yards and 3 TDs receiving, and even threw for two, giving him:
  • The all-time NFL record for single season rushing touchdowns (28). (The previous record was 27, set in 2003 by Priest Holmes and in 2005 by Shaun Alexander.)
  • The all-time NFL record for single season touchdowns (31). (The previous record was 28, set in 2005 by Shaun Alexander.)
  • The all-time NFL record for the most points scored in a single season (186). (The previous record was 176, set in 1960 by Paul Hornung.)
  • NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year Award for 2006, a bunch of ESPY awards, and the 2007 Most Unstoppable Jock on Spike TV Guys' Choice Awards, beating out finalist Kobe Bryant.

L.T. is currently:
  • 2nd all-time in rushing TDs (138), behind Emmitt Smith (164).
  • 3rd all-time in total TDs (153), behind Emmitt Smith (175) and Jerry Rice (208).
  • 8th all-time in yards rushing (12,490).
  • A five-time Pro Bowler and six-time All-Pro (2002-2007).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hero: Steven Slater

"All of this bad news, I really think, is making us feel weak—oil spills, never-ending wars, unemployment stuck near 10 percent, a different politician in trouble every day. Yankee ingenuity and can-do spirit used to be an American hallmark; now all we seem to produce are credit-card debt and crazy pop stars. We like Steven Slater because he made us feel, for one minute, as if we could take control of our economic destinies from the big companies that act more and more like casinos and the politicians who act like VIPs, not public servants."
JetBlue Flight 1052 from Pittsburgh had taxied to a stop at JFK Airport around noon Monday, August 9th, when flight attendant Steven Slater, 38 years old, was struck in the head with luggage that a passenger was trying to unload from an overhead compartment, according to an airport official with knowledge of the incident.

Slater demanded an apology from the passenger, the official said, but the passenger refused. The two argued before the passenger told Slater to “fuck off”, the official said. Slater then got on the plane’s PA system and directed that same obscenity to the man who refused to apologize.
"To the fucking asshole who told me to fuck off, it's been a good 28 years," Slater said. "I've had it. That's it."
The mad-as-hell steward grabbed a couple of beers from the galley and popped one open before activating the emergency exit, witnesses told airport employees. Then he tossed his two carry-on bags down the chute, and followed them to the tarmac, the official said.

Slater was wearing a sheepish smile when Port Authority detectives picked the flight attendant up at his home in Queens a few hours later. He was charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, and trespassing.

Slater was released on Tuesday night from the Vernon C. Bain Center in the Bronx, after posting $2,500 bail.

Faye Observer:
A folk hero in digital times, JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater has been thoroughly embraced by the Web.

Not only have news stories about his meltdown on a plane from Pittsburgh to New York City been exceptionally popular on the Internet, but he's been feted in all manner of online tribute. Even JetBlue Airways Corp. wryly noted on its blog post Wednesday that many people reacted: "Like, the entire Internet."

Slater has consistently ranked as one of the most popular topics on Twitter and has birthed a small cottage industry of Facebook pages, with titles such as "Free Steven Slater" and "I Support Steven Slater."

One group, dubbed the "Steven Slater Legal Defense Fund," is seeking to raise money for the airline veteran. More than 650 people are members of the group, which was founded by Gary Baumgardner, a pilot who pledges transparency in donating all the collections to Slater. He said he had raised more than $1,500 as of early Wednesday.

Slater, 38, is accused of cursing out a passenger over the intercom after his plane landed Aug. 9 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, grabbing some beer and exiting on the plane's emergency slide. He was arrested and jailed before being freed on bail. A defense lawyer says Slater didn't put anyone in danger.

The website Free Steve Slater has been launched in support of Slater. It introduces itself: "Steve! This page is for you! Get in touch and let us know what you want to do with it!"

One of the trends on Twitter has been to imagine T-shirts dedicated to Slater's audacious escape. Film critic Roger Ebert was among those churning out ideas, including: "Front: 'I may be under arrest ...' Back: 'But I got two free beers out of it.' "

Actual T-shirts were already for sale online, though with the more simple "Free Steven Slater" printed on them. On eBay, luggage tags reading "Steve Slater: An American hero" were for sale, as was a painting of Slater holding a prison number, which was going for $355 as of Wednesday afternoon.

Other designs took the easy bait of parodying flight manuals. One that quickly went viral - designed on a lark by Aurich Lawson, creative director of the technology news website Ars Technica - is labeled the "proper technique for exiting aircraft" and shows a generic figure descending an inflatable slide with two beers in hand.

"Watching people root for him ... is half the fun," Lawson said in an e-mail. "The reaction makes the event larger than life, kind of catapulting it into myth status overnight."

Slater was led into a state court in the New York borough of Queens to be arraigned on charges of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing, counts that carry a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.

After posting bail, Slater told reporters: "I think something about this resonated with people. And that's kinda neat. The outpouring of support is very appreciated. I'm overwhelmed, very thankful," Steven says.

More information:
» Daily Beast: Seven Reasons Why We Love Steven Slater
» Online Love for Steven Slater
» TMZ's Steve Slater Slide Game!

Hero: Wesley Autrey

"I don’t feel like I did something spectacular; I just saw someone who needed help. I did what I felt was right."
Before he came to the attention of half the Western world, Wesley was known to his friends and family as a modest, hardworking construction worker and something of the family patriarch.

His life of quiet working-class anonymity came to a full stop on January 2. What happened that day has already taken on the quality of legend: the man with the seizure on the platform; Wesley’s shout to a stranger to watch his daughters and his dive onto the tracks; the split-second decision to grab the man and roll into the 21-inch gutter between the bottom of the train and the rails; the train’s abrupt halt, its first five cars passing over the two men; the twenty-minute wait for the MTA to cut the power to the third rail. On Letterman, and later on Ellen, Wesley explained why he did what he did. “Fool, you got to go in there,” he recalled thinking.

But being the Subway Superman, it turns out, is a lot harder than it looks. Yes, since saving 20-year-old Cameron Hollopeter after he collapsed and fell onto the rails at the 137th Street subway station on January 2, Wesley Autrey has been showered with adulation and no small amount of material goods. Donald Trump wrote him a check for $10,000. He was jetted for free to the Super Bowl. He’s received cars and vacations, fur coats and expensive meals. He received the Bronze Medallion, the city's highest civilian honor, from Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

He's been honored by Eliot Spitzer, Hillary Clinton, and was singled out by George Bush at the 2007 State of the Union address (that’s when Wesley blew kisses to the nation that morphed into peace signs—the gesture became his trademark, and something everyone in Harlem, where he lives, mimics back to him now). He captivated the famously unsentimental David Letterman, and brought his little girls on Ellen. He is on the 2007 Time 100 most influential people in the world list. B.B. King literally dropped to his knees and thanked him for what he did. Oh yeah, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority gave him unlimited metro rides for a year.

On January 9, when Wesley came home from the Ellen taping in California, he wanted to go back to work (he’d taken what he had intended to be a brief leave of absence). But there was too much to do. The American Stock Exchange wanted him to ring the opening bell on January 11. Spitzer wanted him on the 16th. The union local was honoring him on the 17th.

Wesley became exhausted. He told Linda he lacked time to savor even a little of his good fortune. His new life was cutting into his weekends with the girls. “They don’t like that,” he says. “I don’t either. I try to explain, ‘Daddy’s got kind of a new job, and I’m trying to make things happen and maybe get a house and a better way of life.’ But they don’t understand.”

He started to worry about money. You can’t pay the rent with a Jeep. And given the value of some of the gifts, the IRS would be watching. A friend at the union told him people could sue him now. His custody and support arrangement with the girls’ mother could be called into question. He might have to think about setting up tax shelters, and trusts for the kids.

Making money off his heroism had never been a priority for Wesley. But the president had just saluted him on national television, and he started to wonder if failing to capitalize on what happened wasn’t noble but foolish. It had been almost four weeks since Wesley had taken home a paycheck. He’d paid some bills but hadn’t even bought a new suit for the White House. What kind of a son and father would he be if he didn’t make the most of this? “I wanted to surprise my mom with a house,” he says. “There’s a lot of things I wanted to do. There was a possibility of that happening if a book or movie thing jumps off. And I’m dying to just get a house for me and my family.”

On February 5, the day after the Super Bowl, Wesley was a special guest at the Citizens Committee for New York’s annual gala at the Waldorf-Astoria. He had decided he needed a new management team, and that night met a lawyer, Diane Kleiman, and a movie agent, Mark Anthony Esposito. Wesley wasn’t just a news story, they said—he was a commercial and intellectual property that could and should generate revenue.

They presented Wesley with a four-page contract on Monday morning, just before he and his daughters were expected at the White House for the Black History Month celebration. Wesley signed the contract without reading it, and they left. “They were rushing me,” Wesley says. “The word was, ‘If we don’t hurry up and sign this, Wesley is going to be yesterday’s news, because when this Sean Bell case hit, that’s gonna knock you out of the box, so we need to do this—we need to sign these papers.’”

The three-year contract entitled Ms. Kleiman and Mr. Esposito to 50% of the profits related to his fame, regardless of whether they result from their work.

On March 22, Wesley filed court papers against Esposito and Kleiman, accusing the pair of embarking on an “unconscionable scheme” that began at their first meeting. The lawsuit alleges that when Wesley met her at the Waldorf, Diane had said she wouldn’t charge for her legal services; that she falsely said she was an entertainment lawyer; that the duo promised nothing would be done without Wesley’s input; that they sprung the contract on him in Washington and took advantage of him.

By late October, he settled the lawsuit, voiding the contract he called "one-sided" and stopping Mark Esposito from exploiting his heroic story.

Wesley’s getting used to being recognized everywhere he goes now. “When you’re in the public eye, you can’t be mean,” he says. “I love people, you know what I’m saying? That’s why I did what I did for that man that day.” There are still scores of requests for appearances and interviews, but he and Linda have set limits now: No more than one event, appointment, or interview a day. The rest of the time, Wesley can rest, be with his family, be anything other than the Subway Superman.

"People wanted to hug me, they wanted to kiss me," Wesley says. "It was an honor and a privilege to save a man’s life."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Clemens Indicted


Friday, August 20, 2010

Spotlight: Ferran Adrià

"At the end of the day the magic is in the new experience and innovative food." -Ferran Adrià
Ferran Adrià i Acosta
is a Catalan Spanish chef born on May 14, 1962. Today he is considered one of the best chefs in the world and tops the European Restaurant Ranking. He is the famed head chef of the El Bulli restaurant on the Costa Brava, the coastal region of northeastern Catalonia, Spain. In 2005 it ranked second in the Restaurant Top 50. It was awarded the first place in 2006, displacing The Fat Duck in England. El Bulli retained this title in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

El Bulli is only open for about six months of the year (in 2010, the season is due to run from June 15 to December 20). Adrià spends the remaining six months of the year perfecting recipes in his workshop "El Taller" in Barcelona. He is famous for his thirty course gourmet menu.

Along with British chef Heston Blumenthal, Adrià is often associated with "molecular gastronomy," although the Catalan chef does not consider his cuisine to be of this category. Instead, he has referred to his cooking as deconstructivist. Adrià's stated goal is to "provide unexpected contrasts of flavor, temperature and texture. Nothing is what it seems. The idea is to provoke, surprise and delight the diner." This is also combined with a large dose of irony and a sense of humor. As he likes to say, "the ideal customer doesn't come to El Bulli to eat but to have an experience."

He has commercialized a range of products he calls Texturas, which include xanthan gum to thicken soups, sauces and creams without changing the flavor, and algin for every spherical preparation: caviar, raviolis, balloons, gnocchi, pellets, and mini-spheres.

He is also well known for creating "culinary foam". In his quest to enhance flavor Adrià discards the use of cream and egg; foam is made exclusively of the main ingredient and "air" (combined in a siphon bottle equipped with N2O cartridges). Adrià's foam creations include foamed espresso, foamed mushroom, and foamed beetroot, as well as foamed meats.

Unusual dishes that have been controversial include frozen whisky sour candy, white garlic and almond sorbet, tobacco-flavoured blackberry crushed ice and Kellogg’s paella (Rice Krispies, shrimp heads and vanilla-flavoured mashed potatoes).

This fall, Adrià will join Washington chef-restaurateur and fellow Spaniard José Andrés to help teach a first-of-its-kind course in culinary physics at Harvard University.

The restaurant will most likely close for good in December 2011, because Adrià and his partner has been losing over $600,000 a year on the restaurant and his cooking workshop in Barcelona. Adrià told an international culinary conference last month that the restaurant would temporarily shut its doors in 2012 and 2013. And in 2014, El Bulli will become a foundation, giving culinary scholarships to chefs with avant-garde leanings.

More information:
Video: Anthony Bourdain Eating At El Bulli
Video: A Day with Ferran Adrià
Guardian's Latest News on Ferran

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Generation Kill (2008)

Generation Kill
is a 2008 HBO television miniseries based on the book of the same name by Evan Wright about his two-month experience as an embedded reporter with the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion‎ of the United States Marine Corps during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The miniseries is a precise retelling of the early weeks of the military campaign from the point of view of the guys on the ground: the non-commissioned officers and platoon-level commanders who led the way to Baghdad. Wright's account of life with the Marines was originally published as a three-part series in Rolling Stone in the fall of 2003. "The Killer Elite", the first of these articles, went on to win a National Magazine Award for Excellence in Reporting in 2004.

It was adapted for television by David Simon, Ed Burns (The Wire) and Wright. Susanna White and Simon Cellan Jones directed the episodes of the series. It was shot as seven one-hour installments over a six-month shoot in the summer of 2007 in Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa. The series premiered on July 13, 2008. It won three primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Special Visual Effects for the second episode "The Cradle of Civilization," and was nominated for eight more.

There were 28 starring cast members with a large supporting cast. The majority of the characters were drawn from the Second Platoon of the First Reconnaissance Battalion's Bravo Company. Lee Tergesen played embedded reporter Evan Wright. Wright was assigned to the lead vehicle of Bravo Company, which he shared with Sergeant Brad 'Iceman' Colbert, played by Alexander Skarsgård, Corporal Josh Ray Person, played by James Ransone and Lance Corporal Harold James Trombley, played by Billy Lush.

Other second platoon starring characters include: First Lieutenant Nathaniel Fick, played by Stark Sands; Sergeant Antonio 'Poke' Espera played by Jon Huertas; Hospital Corpsman Second Class Robert Timothy 'Doc' Bryan played by Jonah Lotan.

More information:
Episode Commentaries by Evan Wright on HBO.com
Recreating Iraq in Photoreal CG!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dan Black - "Symphonies Remix" ft Kid Cudi (2010)

Dan Black's debut album UN was released on July 13, 2009 in the UK and in the United States on February 16, 2010. The U.S. version of the album contains three bonus tracks, including a collaboration of "Symphonies" with Kid Cudi. The music video has two MTV Video Music Awards nominations for "Breakthrough Video" and "Best Special Effects in a Video".

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

August 15, 2010
Jiffy Lube Live
Crosby, Stills & Nash Setlist
1. Woodstock
2. Military Madness (Graham Nash cover)
3. Long Time Gone
4. Bluebird (Buffalo Springfield cover)
5. Deja Vu
6. Long May You Run
7. Ruby Tuesday (The Rolling Stones cover)
8. Our House
9. Southern Cross
10. Chicago
11. Almost Cut My Hair
12. Wooden Ships

13. For What It's Worth (Buffalo Springfield cover)
14. Love the One You're With

Encore 2:
15. Teach Your Children

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers Setlist
1. Listen to Her Heart
2. You Don't Know How It Feels
3. I Won't Back Down
4. Free Fallin'
5. Oh Well (Fleetwood Mac cover)
6. Mary Jane's Last Dance
7. Kings Highway
8. Breakdown
9. Jefferson Jericho Blues
10. Good Enough
11. Running Man's Bible
12. I Should Have Known It
13. Learning to Fly
14. Don't Come Around Here No More
15. Refugee

16. Runnin' Down a Dream
17. Carol (Chuck Berry cover)
18. American Girl

Concert Review
Review of Tom Petty's new album 'Mojo'

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Lonely Island - "Jizz In My Pants" (2008)

“Jizz In My Pants” is the first Digital Short that feels more like a Lonely Island music video, as it’s also the first Digital Short to prominently feature Jorma Taccone and a cameo by Akiva Schaffer. One of the most viewed Youtube videos of all-time, and the music video for the first single from The Lonely Island's debut album, Incredibad. The video stars The Lonely Island members Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and, briefly, Akiva Schaffer, and also features guest appearances by Justin Timberlake, Molly Sims and Jamie-Lynn Sigler.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Inter Milan vs. Manchester City

July 31, 2010
BALTIMORE -- Reigning Champions League winner Inter Milan ran out comfortable winners against English Premier League's Manchester City Saturday night with a 3-0 victory.

The attendance at M&T Bank Stadium stood at 36,569, the largest crowd that have greeted City on their US tour, but well below the sold-out crowd of 70,000 that attended the Chelsea-A.C. Milan friendly last year.

Early on, City midfielder Patrick Vieira was sent off with a red card after elbowing Inter defender Marco Materazzi in the back of the head when jumping for a header.

From a seemingly impossible angle, 22-year-old Inter forward Victor Obinna turned the man advantage into a goal in the 38th minute. Obinna received a pass from midfielder Esteban Cambiasso and struck a shot with his left foot from the goalkeeper's right just inside the box that stayed on the ground and snuck past City goalkeeper Joe Hart.

In the 54th minute Inter went on the counterattack following a City corner and Obinna found himself alone to the goalie's right just outside the six-yard box, but a bad first touch allowed the City defense to recover. Instead of shooting, Obinna crossed the ball in front of the City goal, which deflected off City defender Joleon Lescott for an own goal to double the lead.

Then eighteen-year-old midfielder Cristiano Biraghi buried a laser top shelf from 30 yards out in the 74th minute to seal the win for Inter.

Inter took full advantage of the extra man, dominating play on both sides of the field. They almost tripled City's shot attempts, 14-5.

"I am really pleased with the performance of the team. They played really well," Inter manager Rafael Benitez told reporters after the game. "Our idea is to improve our fitness and also give time to our younger players on the pitch. We got to do both."

The two teams had the majority of their first-team players in uniform but there were a few notable exceptions in the aftermath of the World Cup. Those included City's Carlos Tévez, Nigel de Jong and Roque Santa Cruz, and Inter's Wesley Sneijder, Diego Milito, and Lúcio.

Inter's Samuel Eto'o was one of the stars in uniform and received a hearty applause when he entered the contest in the 62nd minute.

The match was City's final in its U.S. tour and Inter's first of three. City lost three of five in the United States and will next take the pitch against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday. Inter plays MLS's FC Dallas on Thursday in Frisco, Texas.

The standout player for me was Argentinian footballer Esteban Cambiasso, who is widely considered one of the most influential midfielders in Italian football.

Cambiasso made his senior national debut in 2000 for Argentina, and played in the 2006 World Cup. Since Maradona took over as Argentina coach, Cambiasso was only called-up once to the national team for a friendly game on November 14, 2009 against Spain, despite continuing to play a vital role for Inter and affirming his status as one of Europe's best central midfielders. On May 12, 2010, Cambiasso was controversially left out of the 30-man provisional 2010 World Cup squad.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Steroids & The Mitchell Report

Mark McGwire, long suspected of using steroids, refused to answer questions at a congressional hearing in 2005. Last January, he finally admitted using steroids on and off for nearly a decade, including when he broke the home run record in 1998. His decision to admit using steroids was prompted by his decision to become hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals, his final big league team.

"I've put all that behind me," he said when asked about his supplier by a New York reporter. "That's a chapter in my life that's now closed."

In his four years on the Hall of Fame ballot, he has yet to be named by as many as 25 percent of the Baseball Writers' Association of America voters — nowhere near the necessary 75 percent to be enshrined.

McGwire, who has 11 years of Hall eligibility left, hit 583 home runs, which would normally make for quick Hall of Fame admission, but he hit 265 of them in a four-year span, from 1996-99. That includes the then-record 70 homers in 1998 during a compelling race with Sammy Sosa, who finished with 66. With his admission, those outrageous totals are obviously tainted, and his lone calling card for Cooperstown is as a home run hitter.

McGwire's playing career will never be viewed the way he wants it to be. People will probably never believe his assertion that he took performance enhancing drugs to recover from injuries and that he could reached those home run totals without PEDs. Yet, he can still do something about his new career as a coach.

Since the congressional hearing, baseball owners and players toughened their drug program twice, increasing the penalty for a first steroids offense from 10 days to 50 games in November 2005 and strengthening the power of the independent administrator in April 2008, following the publication of the Mitchell Report.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig issued a statement saying that "the use of steroids and amphetamines amongst today’s players has greatly subsided and is virtually nonexistent."

Barry Bonds
2007 team: San Francisco Giants

Home run king pleaded not guilty this month to perjury and obstruction of justice charges after a grand jury indicted him for allegedly lying under oath about using steroids. If convicted, legal experts say Bonds could spend up to 2½ years in prison. "I know that when all of this is over, I will be vindicated," the seven-time NL MVP said in a statement on his Web site. The case also might jeopardize his potential election to the Hall of Fame. ... In 2003, Bonds testified before a federal grand jury that he hadn't knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs, even though prosecutors say he flunked a private steroids test in 2000. In his testimony, Bonds said he thought his personal trainer, Greg Anderson, was giving him flaxseed oil and an arthritic balm. Authorities suspected those substances were actually "the clear" and "the cream," two steroids linked to BALCO. ... Bonds went from a skinny, speedy outfielder early in his career to a bulked-up slugger in his mid-to-late 30s. He hit his 756th homer on Aug. 7, breaking Hank Aaron's career record, and finished the year with 762. He also holds the season mark of 73 set in 2001. The 43-year-old Bonds, who spent the past 15 seasons with San Francisco, is a free agent and is interested in playing again next season.

In the report: Bonds is mentioned 103 times in the report, more than any other current player, most often for his link to the BALCO investigation. Mitchell's staff interviewed the contractor who collected drug tests provided by Bonds in 2003, and details Bonds' relationship with Victor Conte as outlined in several news reports.

Bonds has been indicted on charges he made false statements to a federal grand jury and obstructed justice.

Jose Canseco
2007 team: Out of baseball

An admitted steroids user, the power-hitting outfielder won the 1988 AL MVP award with Oakland after becoming the first major leaguer to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in one season. In his 2005 book "Juiced," Canseco said he injected Mark McGwire with steroids and introduced several other players to the drugs, leading to a March 2005 congressional hearing on the issue. The former slugger, one of several players who testified at the hearing, also implicated Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez and Ivan Rodriguez. Canseco has said he spoke with George Mitchell as part of the former Senate Majority Leader's investigation. A six-time All-Star and '86 AL Rookie of the Year, Canseco played his final big league season in 2001. He finished with 462 homers and 1,407 RBIs.

In the report: Sports Illustrated reported that Canseco made purchases in 2004 of HGH (somatropin), testosterone, stanozolol, and HCG, along with 340 syringes using a now-defunct Florida anti-aging clinic called Health Watch. The purchases were shipped to Canseco at his home in California.

Roger Clemens
2007 team: New York Yankees

One of the game's greatest pitchers, he ranks eighth on the career wins list with 354 and owns a record seven Cy Young Awards. The 45-year-old right-hander was 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA this season, his 24th in the majors. A free agent, he hasn't said if he plans to pitch next season. In October 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported Clemens' name was included in the affidavit of a federal agent who said former big league pitcher Jason Grimsley implicated several players in the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Players in the report denied using steroids. Clemens, who played with Grimsley on the Yankees in 1999 and 2000, called it "dangerous and malicious and reckless." Clemens' agent, Randy Hendricks, said he was told Grimsley denied making the statements attributed to him in the affidavit of IRS Special Agent Jeff Novitzky. Kevin Ryan, then the U.S. Attorney in San Francisco, said the Times report contained "significant inaccuracies."

In the report: According to former New York Yankees major league strength and conditioning coach Brian McNamee, from the time that McNamee injected Clemens with Winstrol through the end of the 1998 season, Clemens' performance showed remarkable improvement. During this time, Clemens reportedly told McNamee that the steroids "had a pretty good effect" on him. McNamee told investigators that "during the middle of the 2000 season, Clemens made it clear that he was ready to use steroids again. During the latter part of the regular season, McNamee injected Clemens in the buttocks four to six times with testosterone from a bottle labeled either Sustanon 250 or Deca-Durabolin."

Clemens is under investigation by a federal grand jury trying to determine whether he lied to a congressional committee.

Jason Giambi
2007 team: New York Yankees

A five-time All-Star and the 2000 AL MVP, the first baseman has been hampered by injuries and batted .235 with 14 homers and 39 RBIs this year. Under threat of discipline from commissioner Bud Selig, Giambi became the first active player known to have spoken with George Mitchell when he interviewed on July 13 after he appeared to admit using steroids in a USA Today report. "I will address my own personal history regarding steroids. I will not discuss in any fashion any other individual," Giambi said in a statement issued by the players' association. Testified to the BALCO grand jury in December 2003 that he used steroids obtained from Greg Anderson and used HGH, the San Francisco Chronicle reported in December 2004.

In the report: Giambi was interviewed for the investigation, and stated he began using steroids in 2001, purchasing Deca-Durabolin from a contact he met at a gym in Las Vegas. He said he injected himself once a week, always at home, and said he continued to do so through the 2002 season. Giambi said he met trainer Greg Anderson in November 2002, who told him he would prepare a calendar that would tell Giambi what substances to take, and when, so that he would not test positive in baseball's drug testing program, to begin in 2003. Giambi said he used "the cream" and "the clear," which he obtained from Anderson.

Rafael Palmeiro
2007 team: Out of baseball

A four-time All-Star, Palmeiro batted .288 with 569 homers and 1,835 RBIs over 20 seasons in the majors. He dramatically pointed his finger and told Congress in 2005 that he had never used steroids, then tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol about six weeks later, leading to a 10-day ban from Major League Baseball. He denied intentionally taking steroids, saying teammate Miguel Tejada gave him vitamin B-12 that might have been tainted with performance-enhancing drugs. Tejada denied any wrongdoing.

In the report: Palmeiro was at the time the most well known player to be suspended for failing a test for performance-enhancing drugs. It prompted a congressional investigation into whether Palmeiro had committed perjury. In his book "Juiced," Jose Canseco claimed to have supervised the steroid use of Palmeiro and two other Texas Rangers players in 1992.

Andy Pettitte
2007 team: New York Yankees

Went 15-9 with a 4.05 ERA this year, and has 201 career wins in 13 seasons in the majors. The Los Angeles Times reported in 2006 that Pettitte was among the players former major league pitcher Jason Grimsley accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, according to a federal agent's affidavit. Pettitte denied the allegations, and a federal prosecutor said the newspaper report contained "significant inaccuracies."

In the report: According to McNamee, he recalled injecting Pettitte in 2002 with human growth hormone that McNamee obtained from Radomski on two to four occasions. Pettitte was rehabilitating an injury at the time.

Gary Sheffield
2007 team: Detroit Tigers

Hit 25 homers this season. Nine-time All-Star has 480 career HRs after 20 years. Told HBO he took the "clear" and the "cream," two designer steroids distributed by BALCO, but said he didn't know they were steroids. "Steroids is something you shoot in your butt," he said. Once worked out with Barry Bonds, then had a falling-out with the star.

In the report: The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Sheffield testified when he was training with Barry Bonds before the 2002 season, Bonds had "arranged for him to receive 'the cream, 'the clear' and red beans,' which prosecutors identified as steroid pills manufactured in Mexico. Sheffield reportedly was never told that the substances he was given were steroids. In his book, Sheffield claimed he did not know the cream he received was a steroid and asserted he "never touched a strength-building steroid in (his) life -- and never will."

Miguel Tejada
2007 team: Baltimore Orioles

Four-time All-Star shortstop and former AL MVP. In 2005, then-teammate Rafael Palmeiro implied his positive test for steroids might have come from an injection of B-12 vitamin provided by Tejada. Earlier that year, Tejada denied taking steroids. "I know I'm clean. I know who I am, and I know everything that I do is right," he said.

In the report: Tejada's former Oakland teammate Adam Piatt said Tejada asked specifically if he had any steroids. Piatt admitted he had access to steroids and human growth hormone and agreed to obtain them for Tejada. Piatt recalled that he provided Tejada with testosterone or Deca-Durabolin, as well as human growth hormone. Piatt emphasized that he did not know whether Tejada actually used the substances.