Another night during the tough 2 weeks here in California. I swear, this is as close to a vacation as it gets. It was off to Santa Barbara to see John Mellencamp at the unbelievable Santa Barbara Bowl. What a show. What a venue. Loved it.
However, I couldn’t find a review of the show last night, so here is one from his show at Red Rocks 2 nights earlier …
The band came back after this mini-concert and served up another 45 minutes of loud, fun rock, filling the rest of the evening with songs from all over Mellencamp’s career. Tunes such as “Small Town,” “Scarecrow,” “If I Die Sudden” and “Jena,” among others, made appearances. I can’t remember a time when I’ve seen so many people singing along with all the songs from the stage. They bounced and danced freely through it all, people in their 40s, 50s and up gleefully late on a Sunday night.
They were entranced by Mellencamp’s showmanship, the skill of the band, and the sonic and natural beauty of Red Rocks (although I can’t say how much the omnipresent weed may have affected them as well).
At one point, Mellencamp stopped the band after a song and mentioned that he “saw a lot of cell phones” in the audience. It gave him an idea: He asked that everyone with a cell phone call their best friend and “tell them John Mellencamp had a message for them.” (He graciously offered to wait — and even speak to an audience member’s daughter from the stage — while we all dialed). He then requested us to “hold up all those cell phones” so their friends could listen.
The band then erupted into “Crumblin’ Down,” across from the cellphone glow of the crowd. Afterwards, audience members were heard to say things like “My boy hung up on me!” or “All my friends are asleep — so I called my home phone and left a message!” It was surreal to see hundreds of cell lights hovering above the crowd in a latter-day technocrat homage to the ages-old lighter-held-aloft.
During the encore, Mellencamp invited his 13 year-old son, Speck, to take part in playing “The Authority Song” with the band. It was nice to see the torch being carried, and Speck played along like it was a family Sunday hootenanny.
Trade Deadline is today, will the Rangers punt? …
Nothing significant had developed as of Wednesday night. One less team was in need of catching help, and the Rangers were told that a starter they had targeted wasn’t available.
Those developments left Daniels to suggest that the Rangers’ roster tonight will look just like the one they had Wednesday.
"Right now, I don’t see anything happening," he said. "I’m content going into the winter and receiving the calls again at that point."
A major league source said that the Rangers were told by Kansas City that right-
hander Zack Greinke is not available. The Royals likely would have sought prospects or young big-league talent.
Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia might have been a fit there because of his relationship with general manager Dayton Moore, who was the Braves’ director of player personnel when they drafted Saltalamacchia with a first-round pick in 2004.
Daniels said that he would be willing to include some of the Rangers’ highly regarded minor league talent for the right deal.
"We’re not looking to trade any of our young players," he said. "If there was a deal that made sense for us, we’d consider it."
Daniels said most teams calling Arlington are asking about the Rangers’ catching depth. He expects the calls to continue despite the New York Yankees’ acquisition of Ivan Rodriguez from the Detroit Tigers.
Florida, Cincinnati and Milwaukee have been linked to Gerald Laird in various
reports this week. But teams will likely have to part with quality young pitching to get any of the Rangers’ catchers.
"That’s probably been the area we’ve received the most calls on," Daniels said.
Greg Ellis talk …He was on our show yesterday, and I thought he was awesome. No matter how much I want to turn on him for things he says, the fact is this: he is too good a guy to get mad at. He just is honest, insecure, and above all, sincere. I like Greg Ellis quite a bit.
Greg Ellis has led the Cowboys in sacks six times in his career, the second-most in club history behind Harvey Martin (seven).
1Despite being disgruntled at times the past few years, Ellis remains a team leader and an inspirational player because of his tireless work ethic and attention to detail.
2After suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon in his left leg in 2006, Ellis returned in 2007 to have a career season, recording 12.5 sacks, earning his first Pro Bowl selection and being named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
3Ellis is content, despite being leery in the off-season about the Cowboys trying to phase him out because of their interest in giving backup Anthony Spencer more playing time. The Cowboys have assured him he remains a big part of their plans. "Antennas go up and say, 'Is this done to really rest me or "Ellis said. "Wade [Phillips] has let me know, 'Greg, we want to replace me?’ you here. The plan is not to just phase you out.’ So that’s what we’re going off of."
4He might not have been the bona fide superstar like wide receiver Randy Moss — the player many people think the Cowboys should have taken in the 1998 draft instead of Ellis — but he has been a mainstay in the lineup. Ellis has started 140 of 146 regular-season games he has played, missing just 12 games in 10 years because of injury.
5Starting his 11th season with the team, Ellis is tied with tackle Flozell Adams as the longest-tenured Cowboys players. Both were drafted in 1998, Ellis in the first round and Adams in the second round. The club record for most seasons of service is 15 shared by Ed Jones (1974-78, 1980-89), Bill Bates (1983-97) and Mark Tuinei (1983-97).
This Favre thing is just out of control …First they offer him $20 million to stay retired? Now, they ponder trade with Minnesota? Insane.
The Green Bay Packers, unable so far to trade Brett Favre and facing his arrival at training camp, are reportedly considering taking a step they desperately wanted to avoid: dealing him to a division rival.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, citing a source close to the situation, on Wednesday reported the Packers were considering seeking a deal with one of their rivals, most likely the Minnesota Vikings or Chicago Bears, if all else fails.
That follows reports that the Packers on Wednesday offered Favre a substantial sum of money -- as much as $20 million over several years -- to stay retired.
On Monday, Packers general manager Ted Thompson said the Packers would not trade Favre within the NFC North. Favre, who has asked the NFL to be reinstated, is reportedly interested in playing for the Vikings, who play the Packers to open their season on Monday Night Football on Sept. 8.
The Packers are committed to Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback of the future and are not considering Favre, who tearfully retired March 6th, returning to Green Bay as the starter.
An NFL source said he understood from the Packers that trading within the NFC North would be a last resort, according to the report. And the Packers are still trying to convince Favre to consider trade possibilities with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets.
Ron Artest is awesome …This may be the best back and forth verbal sparring session I have seen all month…
A day after the Rockets and Sacramento Kings agreed in principle to a deal sending Artest to Houston for Bobby Jackson, Donte Greene and a first-round draft pick, Yao expressed concerns about team chemistry to the Houston Chronicle and referenced Artest's involvement in the 2004 brawl with Pistons fans.
"Hopefully, he's not fighting anymore and going after a guy in the stands," Yao said, according to the Chronicle.
When asked about those comments, Artest said Yao had bought into "all the propaganda" about him, according to The Sacramento Bee.
"I understand what Yao said, but I'm still ghetto," Artest said, according to the report. "That's not going to change. I'm never going to change my culture. Yao has played with a lot of black players, but I don't think he's ever played with a black player that really represents his culture as much as I represent my culture. Once Yao Ming gets to know me, he'll understand what I'm about.
"If you go back to the brawl, that's a culture issue right there," Artest added, according to the report. "Somebody was disrespecting me, so he's got to understand where I'm coming from. People that know me know that Ron Artest never changed."
Brad Sham – Actor! …
Owens vs. Pac Man – ouch, that burn hurts.
There is only 1 Robbie Keane
Nash and Baron