Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Google made $4.7 billion in 2018 from its use of news publishers’ content for which publishers and reporters weren’t paid. Legislation has been introduced to address this problem-News Media Alliance

Google received an estimated “$4.7 billion in revenue in 2018 from crawling and scraping news publishers’ content – without paying the publishers for that use.Legislation to address this problem has recently been introduced in the House and Senate. 

June 10, 2019, New Study Finds Google Receives an Estimated $4.7 Billion in Revenue from News Publishers’ Content,” newsmediaalliance.org, Arlington, Virginia 

“The News Media Alliance today published findings from a new study that analyzes how Google uses and benefits from news. Among the major findings of the study is that news is a key source on which Google has increasingly relied to drive consumer engagement with its products. The amount of news in Google search results ranges from 16 to 40 percent, and the platform received an estimated $4.7 billion in revenue in 2018 from crawling and scraping news publishers’ content – without paying the publishers for that use. 

The study, containing analysis conducted by experts at strategy and economics consulting firm Keystone Strategy and written by the News Media Alliance, includes a qualitative overview of Google’s usage of news content, an analysis of the amount of news content on Google Search and Google News, and an estimate of revenue Google receives from news. 

News Media Alliance President & CEO David Chavern said, “News publishers need to continue to invest in quality journalism, and they can’t do that if the platforms take what they want without paying for it. Information wants to be free, but reporters need to get paid.” 

The figures in the study are conservative estimates of the revenue Google makes through its use of news content. The actual value of news content to Google is more difficult to quantify because of the various ways the company uses news content to drive traffic, develop its products and entrench its dominant position. In addition to using news content for product development, such as training its artificial intelligence services, Google is tailoring its products – ramping up its use of news – to keep users in the Google ecosystem. 

According to the report, since January 2017, traffic from Google Search to news publisher sites has risen by more than 25 percent to approximately 1.6 billion visits per week in January 2018. Corresponding with consumers’ shift toward Google for news consumption, news is becoming increasingly important to Google. 

“The findings clearly point to Google responding to an increase in consumers searching for news, creating and tailoring products that keep users within its ecosystem. This means more money goes back to Google and not the publishers producing the content, Chavern stated. 

Google’s news products also allow it to capture valuable user data that help it improve its core services. According to the report, in 2018, the number of unique monthly visitors in the U.S. to Google News eclipsed that of top news websites such as The New York Times, CNN and Huffington Post. 

“We have called for legislation that would provide a limited safe harbor for news publishers to be able to collectively negotiate for better terms with platforms such as Google and Facebook,Chavern said. “This is the only solution to correcting the current marketplace imbalance, which allows the platforms to dominate the web and related advertising infrastructure, as well as control who sees publishers’ content and when.” 

A bill that would accomplish this – The Journalism Competition & Preservation Act – has been introduced in the House (on April 3 by Representative David Cicilline (D-RI), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law and Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee Doug Collins (R-GA)) and in the Senate (on June 3 by Senators John Kennedy (R-LA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights). 

You can learn more in the executive summary and by reading the full study.”

“Media contact:
Michael MaLoon
VP, Innovation & Communications

The News Media Alliance is a nonprofit organization representing more than 2,000 news organizations and their multiplatform businesses in the United States and globally. Alliance members include print, digital and mobile publishers of original news content. Headquartered near Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Va., the association focuses on ensuring the future of news media through communication, research, advocacy and innovation. Information about the News Media Alliance (formerly NAA) can be found at www.newsmediaalliance.org.”

via Editor and Publisher


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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Best Brett, Brett Gardner grand slam at Stadium v Red Sox with Yankees trailing, final 5-3 Yankees-Newsday back page, 4/18/19

Above, Thurs., April 18, 2019, Newsday back page, "Best Brett," after Gardner grand slam on 4/18, via Erik Boland twitter, Newsday Yankee beat writer. Final, Yankees 5, Red Sox 3


Above, Thurs., April 18, 2019, NY Daily News back page, "100 Grand," Brett Gardner grand slam, 4/17/19, via NY Daily News BackPageGuy

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Yankee Stadium ready for Opening Day, Thursday, March 28, 2019. Orioles at Yankees, 1pm

Above, 3/27/19, Coley Harvey ESPN twitter

Probable pitchers: Andrew Cashner v Masahiro Tanaka


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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

MLB 2019: Longtime baseball voices going, going, almost gone-AP, Joe Kay

"You’ve got so much dead time in baseball that if you can’t ad lib cogently and intelligently, you can’t do it," said Brennaman.

3/19/19, "MLB ’19: Longtime baseball voices going, going, almost gone," AP, Joe Kay

"Steve Blass spent his boyhood afternoons in Connecticut flinging a rubber ball against the side of a half-barn, fantasizing that he was pitching in the majors. Come evening, the 10-year-old would get his radio and tune into a game, delighted when Mel Allen’s voice crackled from the transistor.

When I thought ‘baseball,’ I thought about Mel Allen,” said Blass, now a Pittsburgh Pirates announcer. “When I thought ‘Mel Allen,’ I thought about baseball.”

More than in any other sport, baseball broadcasters become an inseparable part of the game they describe. Their voices are the backdrop to all those warm summer nights. Their distinctive calls are part of the game’s lore. Fans visualize the action through their stories and descriptions.

“There’s definitely an intimate link between the fan and the broadcaster that is much more impactful and prevalent in baseball than in any other major sports,” Cincinnati Reds play-by-play man Marty Brennaman said.

Both 76, Blass and Brennaman are retiring after the 2019 season, ending long careers in the booth — 34 years for Blass, 46 for Brennaman. Throughout the decades, the wins and losses, and the historical moments they’ve witnessed and described, they’ve also experienced how much fans identify with their voices coming into their homes.

They’re treated like adopted family members, greeted on a first-name basis.

Brennaman teamed with former Cincinnati pitcher Joe Nuxhall for 31 years in the booth. Fans tuned into “Marty and Joe,” a pair of old friends who visited Reds fans nearly every day from March to October.

“The longer you’re around, the more you become part of someone’s daily life, even approaching being a member of their extended family,” Brennaman said. “The time I realized what an impact Joe and I made was when we started getting mail addressed to ‘Marty and Joe, Cincinnati, Ohio’ — no address, no anything. And it went to the main post office downtown and they had no problem at all figuring out where it was supposed to go.

“That made me realize whatever we were doing, we were doing right.”

The game lends itself to those relationships and over the generations has become intertwined with those voices crackling from transistor radios tucked beneath pillows for night games — Jack Buck on KMOX in St. Louis, Ernie Harwell with WJR in Detroit, Bob Prince on KDKA in Pittsburgh, Chuck Thompson in Baltimore, Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn in Philly and the great Harry Caray.

Unlike basketball or football or other major sports where the action is nonstop, baseball provides many opportunities for broadcasters to fill with stories and personal anecdotes. They weave in updates about their gardens and their travel experiences and their everyday adventures.

They do more than describe a jump shot or a touchdown catch or a goalie’s save. They share a bit of themselves.

Baseball is the hardest sport of all to do well,” said Brennaman, who also has done college basketball play-by-play. “Basketball and hockey are comparable to winding up a windup toy and turning it on and it’s nonstop for two hours because of the pace of the game. You’ve got so much dead time in baseball that if you can’t ad lib cogently and intelligently, you can’t do it. If there’s a pure art form in play-by-play sports, it’s broadcasting baseball on radio.”

That down time also allows color commentators like Blass to bring the sport to life with stories that revive listeners’ memories.

“To me, much of the game is about stories,” said Blass, who pitched for the Pirates from 1964-74, famously winning Game 7 of the 1971 World Series. “I think our game of baseball is unique. It has more stories than any of the other major sports. Baseball lends itself to the stories.”

The game wouldn’t be the same without their stories and signature lines. Their distinctive expressions become part of the game’s fabric and history, whether it’s Russ Hodges’ “The Giants win the pennant!” or Brennaman’s “This one belongs to the Reds” after a win or even Nuxhall’s “This is the old left-hander rounding third and heading for home” sign-off.

Hollywood recognizes the vital importance of baseball’s voices. Harry Doyle, played by Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker, is an integral part of the movie “Major League” and has some of the most memorable lines — “Juuuust a bit outside.” Allen and his “How about that?” are part of the baseball scene in “The Naked Gun.”

Without the voices, it’s not baseball.

Some of the most familiar voices have left in recent years. The Dodgers’ Vin Scully — recognized within the business as one of the best ever — retired after the 2016 season, his 67th.

The business is changing as well.

More and more fans follow games on their computers, mobile devices and television, rather than radio. The novelty of picking up a game on a far-away station, albeit with a little static, is long gone, replaced by easy access to all broadcasts.

It’s unlikely that many up-and-coming announcers will want to stay with one team so long or do games on a daily basis. The tidal wave of analytics has changed the game and seeped into how it’s presented. Those calling the action have to be more concerned about reprisals for what they might say on air.

“I think we are the last of a dying breed,” said Brennaman, known for his directness on the air. “I quite frankly don’t think there are a lot of guys today broadcasting baseball that have a lot of personality. I think you can take one young announcer off one team and plug him into another team and it’s essentially the same guy.”

Fans in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh will get to enjoy those familiar voices for one last season. It’ll be bittersweet not only for them but other fans as well when they round third and head for home, as Nuxhall would say.

“I have people tell me, ‘You get me through the summer evenings,’” Blass said. “It’s so flattering.

You don’t think about it that way all the time. It’s much more so than when I was pitching. Now I’m in their lives more.

“It’s a wonderful feeling when people come up to me and say, ‘I enjoy you doing the games.’”"


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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Bernie Williams is joined by former Yankee team mates at his concert appearance in Clearwater, Florida, 3/11/19

3/11/19, Bernie Williams and his band perform in Clearwater, Florida,. Williams is working with a pharmaceutical company to benefit a form of heart disease that caused his father's death. Bernie was a guest on Yankee Radio with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman during Tues., 3/12/19 Yankee game v Orioles at The Boss in Tampa, Fla. More from Bernie on the evening.

Above, 3/11/19, Suzyn Waldman joins Bernie Williams on stage during his Clearwater, Fla. concert, via Bernie Williams twitter

Above, 3/11/19, Bernie is joined by former Yankee team mates at his 3/11/19 concert in Clearwater, Fla. Reggie Jackson, Willie Randolph, David Wells, David Cone, Tino Martinez pictured above with Bernie, via Bernie twitter. More from Bernie on the evening.


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Friday, February 15, 2019

John Sterling, Suzyn Waldman, and Joe Castiglione simulcast on WFAN/WEEI as Spring Training draws near

2/5/19, Audio clip of "John Sterling, Suzyn Waldman, and Joe Castiglione w/Yankees Manager Aaron Boone and Adam Ottavino"

"Here's Yankees radio announcers John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman along with Red Sox radio voice Joe Castiglione Tuesday night [2/5/19] on a WFAN/WEEI simulcast as Spring Training draws near talking to Yankees Manager Aaron Boone and newly acquired Yankees relief pitcher and Northeastern University alum Adam Ottavino."

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2019 Yankee Spring Training Schedule, Sat., Feb. 23-Tues., March 25, 2019. And ten Yankee Spring training games on Yankee radio, 2/23-3/23

Saturday, Feb. 23-Tues., March 25, 2019. Regular season begins Thursday, March 27, Orioles at Yankees. Ten 2019 Yankee Spring Training games on Yankee radio listed below.


Following ten 2019 Yankee Spring Training Games will be broadcast on Yankee Radio, WFAN, with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman:

Sat., Feb. 23, 1:05pm
Sun., Feb. 24, 1:05pm
Sat., March 2, 1:05pm
Sun., March 3, 1:05pm
Fri., March 8, 6:35pm
Sat., March 9, 1:05pm
Sun., March 10, 1:05pm
Tues., March 12, 6:35pm
Sat., March 16, 1:05pm
Sat., March 23, 1:05pm


Opening Day:

Thurs., March 28, 1:05pm, Orioles at Yankees


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Monday, January 21, 2019

"The best of all time at his position. Mo. The one and only on this year’s ballot"-Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe, 1/20/19

1/20/19, "This time around, only one candidate is worthy," Boston Globe, By
Mariano Rivera

Sorry. I know we’re allowed to vote for as many as 10 players, and it’s certainly trendy to vote for the max, then protest that you wish you could vote for more, but I have never shared this feeling. In my view, we are not charged to vote for the 10 best players on the ballot. We are asked to determine who is Hall of Fame-worthy.

After much thought, debate, and consultation, (I called three former players who are in the Hall of Fame), I cast a vote for one player: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.

Call it the Harold Baines Effect if you want....The Baines Effect has me choosing the single player on this ballot who is clearly Hall-worthy and appears not to have cheated the game. 

The ever-regal Rivera was clutch and dominant — the best of all time at his position.



Added: Above is excerpt from Boston Globe article including its five writers/voters:

1/20/19, "One player is a lock. Then the 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame vote gets tricky." Boston Globe

Five Boston Globe voters: Peter Abraham, Nick Cafardo, Bob Hohler, Bob Ryan, Dan Shaughnessy

"Here's now the [five] Globe writers voted in this year’s election"

"Mariano Rivera is a Baseball Hall of Famer; the five Globe writers with votes in the annual election agree on that. From there it gets tricky, and that reflects the complexity of the ballot this year.

The Hall of Fame will reveal the choices made by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Those players with at least 75 percent of the votes will join Harold Baines and Lee Smith, who were elected by the Today’s Game Era Committee last month.

The Hall allows for secret ballots. But in the interest of transparency, here are the decisions made by the Globe writers with their explanations.

Players we voted for: 

5 votes
Mariano Rivera
1 year on ballot
4 votes
Edgar Martinez
10 years on ballot
Mike Mussina
6 years on ballot
Curt Schilling
7 years on ballot
2 votes
Roger Clemens
7 years on ballot
Barry Bonds
7 years on ballot
Omar Vizquel
2 years on ballot
Larry Walker
9 years on ballot
Roy Halladay
1 year on ballot
1 vote
Jeff Kent
6 years on ballot
Gary Sheffield
5 years on ballot
Scott Rolen
2 years on ballot
Todd Helton
1 year on ballot
Andy Pettitte
1 year on ballot"...

Mariano Rivera Baseball-Reference


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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Scott Boras is in the building-Dan Mullen, ESPN

Above, 12/12/18, "2018 MLB winter meetings trade and free-agency buzz," ESPN.com, Dan Mullen

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Alex Rodriguez: "London is open for business and baseball"-BBC

11/20/18, "Alex Rodriguez: 'London is open for business and baseball'," BBC.com, One min. 55 sec. video

"Former Yankees star Alex Rodriguez is in London to promote Major League Baseball. Does he think it will take off in the UK? And what is his approach to business?"

Arod is promoting MLB in London which next season includes a Red Sox-Yankees weekend series. Images, screen shots from BBC/MLB video

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Saturday, November 17, 2018

1996 ALDS Game 2, 10/2/96, Rangers at Yankees, Mariano Rivera for 2 and 2/3 hitless frames. MLB announcer: "A lot of people think this man should be considered for the Cy Young"

1996 ALDS game 2, Oct. 2, 1996, Rivera takes the mound for 2 and 2/3 hitless frames. Final in 12 innings, Yankees 5, Rangers 4. Game duration, 4:25. WP: Brian Boehringer, • LP: Mike Stanton. (No save).

MLB national announcer:

"You know, you talk about finishing strong in a baseball season. Rivera had a wonderful season, but in the month of September he was 4 and 1, seventeen innings pitched, 22 punch outs and only one walk. Talk about finishing strong down the stretch. And they needed him, and that's why a lot of people think this man should be considered for the Cy Young."

1996 AL Cy Young voting: Mariano Rivera third, 13% of votes

Baseball Reference:

Rivera entered in 7th in relief of Andy Pettitte, one out, Rangers ahead 4-2. Rivera retired Ivan Rodriguez and Rusty Greer. Rivera enters in the 8th, score now 4-3 Rangers. Rivera retired Juan Gonzalez, Will Clark and Dean Palmer. Rivera enters in the 9th, score now tied 4-4. Rivera retires Tettleton, McLemore, and Elston. Wetteland pitched 10th and 11th, Graeme Lloyd, Jeff Nelson, Kenny Rogers, and Brian Boehringer pitched the 12th. Yankees win in bottom of 12th 5-4.

Mariano Rivera: Total post season innings pitched: 141. ERA: .70. Post season home runs in 141 innings: 2


Via 11/16/18, "1996 ALDS Game 2: Rivera hurls 2 2/3 hitless frames," virginiamn.com, Mesabi Daily News


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Monday, October 29, 2018

The scene at Dodger Stadium after game 5-Dave Schoenfield

Above, 10/28/18, "The scene at Dodger Stadium," Dave Schoenfield twitter...Final score, Red Sox 5, Dodgers 1

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Flyover at Dodger Stadium, NLCS game 3 vs Brewers, Oct. 15, 2018-Dan Mullen ESPN

10/15/18, "NLCS Game 3 flyover at Dodger Stadium was absolutely spectacular," Dan Mullen, ESPN. Brewers at Dodgers, NLCS game 3

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Sunday, October 07, 2018

Aaron Judge home run in 1st inning and Gary Sanchez' in 2nd and 7th, ALDS game 2, Yankees at Red Sox

Above 10/6/18, "Aaron Judge started the Yankees’ Game 2 long-ball attack with a solo home run off Boston’s David Price in the first inning on Saturday. Credit Ben Solomon for The New York Times."
..."Judge crushed the ball, sending it soaring into seats above the farthest edge of the Green Monster, the ball landing between the light tower and the flagpole." NY Times. Final score, ALDS game 2, 6-2, Yankees over Red Sox

Above, 10/6/18, "Gary Sanchez after his second home run of the game, a three-run shot in the seventh that gave the Yankees a 6-1 lead. Credit Chang W. Lee/The New York Times." 10/7/18, "Yankees Flex Muscles and Even Series With the Red Sox," NY Times, Billy Witz...
Final score, ALDS game 2, 6-2, Yankees over Red Sox

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Friday, October 05, 2018

Today's Yankee game marks first time since George Steinbrenner bought the team in 1973 that Yankee payroll is lower than a postseason opponent-Oct. 5, 2018, GetUp ESPN

" GetUp ESPN

 Opening Day Payroll

Yankees ($166M) 

This marks the first time since George Steinbrenner bought the team (1973) that the Yankees' payroll will be lower than a postseason opponent.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Kirk Gibson throwback uniforms from 1988 World Series are 🔥 selling fast-Arash Markazi, ESPN...Mike Sciocsia in Dodger dugout cheered team mate Gibson's game winning home run in World Series game one,10/16/1988

Above, Oct. 1, 2018, Arash Markazi ESPN twitter. Below, Mike Scioscia among Dodger team mates in the dugout cheering Gibson after his game winning home run in World Series game one, 10/16/1988, v Oakland Athletics. Dodgers went on to win 1988 World Series in 5 games.

Above, 10/16/1988 Scioscia among Dodger team mates cheering Gibson after his game winning home run in World Series game one v Oakland Athletics. Screen shot from You Tube video

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Friday, September 14, 2018

Catcher and 1B wear mitts. Everyone else on the field wears gloves-Kirkjian

Above, 9/13/18, Tim Kirkjian, ESPN twitter

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Sunday, September 09, 2018

Arod lost bet to Mark Wahlberg so has to work at Wahlburgers before Sunday Night Baseball-ESPN

Above, 9/9/18, "Last month, 's Yankees lost to 's Red Sox, so Alex agreed to work at Wahlburgers before Sunday Night Baseball." ESPN twitter

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Monday, August 27, 2018

There are no slam dunks in baseball-Aspen Times, Glenn K. Beaton

8/25/18, "Glenn K. Beaton: There are no slam dunks in baseball," Aspen Times, Glenn K. Beaton

They had swatted more flies than fly balls. The pine tar on their bats was melting, and there was concern that the wood might be next. Even the Central American players thought it was unbearably humid.

The Atlanta Braves needed just one more weak grounder to send the Rox back to the place they apparently wanted to be — their air-conditioned hotel. It was a slam dunk.

But there are no slam dunks in baseball.

In an onslaught not seen in Atlanta since William Tecumseh Sherman visited in the century before last, the Rox with two outs in the ninth rocked the southerners with three runs. They were having so much fun in their new party barn that they stayed for an extra inning to add two more.

Per the baseball rulebook, that ended the game. Which is lucky for the Braves because otherwise they'd still be playing and the score would now be 687-3 in favor of the Rox.

One reason that there are no slam dunks in baseball is that there's no clock. Nobody scores three touchdowns in the last second of a football game or 10 baskets in the last second of a basketball game. But it's not unusual for a baseball team to rally in the ninth inning, even with two outs and nobody on.

If the score is tied at the end of the game, then it's not the end of the game. They play another inning and, if necessary, another and another. This can go on for a spell. The White Sox and Brewers once went 25 innings in a game that lasted over eight hours.

I come from a baseball family, in the sense that my big brother was a terrific pitcher and my mother recorded his every pitch on a notepad. Mark was so good that he went to college on a baseball scholarship. That made him the first of our family to attend college, going all the way back to our clan in Scotland.

Mom still has her scrapbooks of Mark's sports page writeups. A typical headline is "Beaton strikes out 15."

I was, um, not as good. My baseball career ended in ninth grade when I was cut from the team. I realize now that my biggest problem was poor coaching. No one ever told me "swing hard in case you hit it." Not that I hit it very often.

In retrospect, being cut was a good thing because it saved me from a sports section headline reading something like "Baby Beaton strikes out 15 times."

Even though baseball has not been berry, berry good to me, I'm berry, berry good to it.

I love this game. I love that it's not over till it's over. I love that there's just enough luck involved that on any given day any team can beat any other team.

I love the foreign players. On the Rockies, a Korean pitcher speaks so little English that a translator accompanies the team manager on mound visits. Think about being in his shoes.

And what about those Venezuelan players? They fled the crumbling "workers utopia" to face long odds in a strange land where a foreign language is spoken. Imagine what they think of Bernie Sanders.

I love that both the foreign and American players stand at attention with their caps off and their hands over their hearts for the playing of the national anthem, because they want to.

I love that there's no end zone dancing, and I love that they scratch themselves but only when people are looking.

I love that many players believe, and are not too shy to give thanks to the object of their belief with a simple hand point and nod to the sky.

I love baseball."


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Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Lance Lynn is 5th Yankee pitcher since 1990 to turn in 7+ scoreless innings in first start with the team-ESPN

8/6/18, "According to ESPN Stats and Info, Lance Lynn became the fifth Yankees pitcher since 1990 to turn in a start of 7+ scoreless innings in his first start with the team." Marly Rivera, ESPN...final, 7-0, Yankees over White Sox


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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Chinese baseball team takes over Texas minor league club-AP

"The players ranging in age from 18 to 29 rotate on and off the active roster...in one of the low-minor leagues not affiliated with Major League Baseball."

7/25/18, "Chinese baseball team takes over Texas minor league club," AP sports, Stephen Hawkins, Grand Prairie, Texas

"The starting lineups are announced in English and Spanish at home games for the independent Texas AirHogs. And then the Chinese national anthem is played.

For about 30 members of the Chinese national team, the suburban ballpark a few miles west of downtown Dallas has become their summer home and training ground in an unprecedented setup.

They are a revolving part of the roster for a professional team in the United States, playing more games and against tougher competition while working to improve for future international events such as the upcoming Asian Games and 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

"The system that they've created here, where we work out in the morning, we've got weight training, the pitchers have a system where we throw on, the coaches have kind of set up a system that's really helped them to be able to make the adjustment to play more games," Sun Jianzeng, a 26-year-old right-hander, said through a translator.

Chinese players who professionally back home would play only 20-30 games a season make up about two-thirds of the expanded roster for the American Association team now formally known as the AirHogs powered by Beijing Shougang Eagles. The players ranging in age from 18 to 29 rotate on and off the active roster to play 6-7 games per week in one of the low-minor leagues not affiliated with Major League Baseball.

"It makes it workable, because we don't want to wear these guys down," said AirHogs manager John McLaren, a big league coach for three decades who has worked with Chinese teams since 2011. Players not on the active roster for games go through early workouts at AirHogs Stadium, 10 minutes from the home ballpark of the Texas Rangers. There are conditioning and weight training drills that are new to the Chinese players.

"They're trying to do something they've never done before, which is play this many games on a daily basis, and you throw into the fact that with the exception of maybe three or four pitchers, they're physically and experienced-wise overmatched," said Larry Hardy, a former Rangers pitching coach filling the same role for the AirHogs. "But they're getting better."

McLaren had a short stint managing Seattle in 2007-08 and was Washington's interim manager for three games in 2011. He was on the Philadelphia Phillies staff the past two seasons.

He also managed China at the World Baseball Classic in 2013 and 2017. Over that time, there would be gaps of six or seven months when he wouldn't even see the team — and players would barely play baseball. China has a 2-10 record in its four WBC appearances, getting outscored 102-18 in those games.

"These guys, I don't think they'd ever played twice in a week," McLaren said .

That changed when the Chinese Baseball Association made arrangement with the AirHogs, allowing them to focus on daily development.

They are now together all the time in a 12-team league that stretches more than 1,300 miles from Texas into Canada. The closest stop is Cleburne, Texas, where 53-year-old former big league slugger Rafael Palmeiro is starring for the Railroaders.

China's only Olympic berth was in 2008, going 1-6 in group play after an automatic berth as the host nation. That was the last time baseball was part of the Summer Games until its return two years from now in Japan.

The AirHogs are a league-worst 17-44 this season, but player-coach Na Chuang said the team has progressed faster than expected, increasing the confidence of the Chinese players who will leave with McLaren and some of their national coaches for the Asian Games in Indonesia before the end of the 100-game AirHogs season.

Kevin Joseph, who pitched in the majors briefly with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2002, is part of McLaren's staff as an assistant coach and invaluable translator. He learned Mandarin while spending more than eight years teaching baseball to young people after a friend with connections to baseball officials in China invited him there.

"The big need, I think, for China is they don't play a lot of games. So for them to be able to come, and to learn the rhythm of a baseball lifestyle, play against better competition, has been a great experience," Joseph said. "The players have really meshed well with the Chinese guys, they love them."

Joseph said hitters have changed the way they swing the bat, being more aggressive and ready to hit pitches coming faster than they've seen before.

For the pitchers, the emphasis has been on throwing more fastballs and fewer breaking balls. Hardy said the catchers have started to understand what the coaches are looking for from pitchers.

"The level of play is a lot higher," Jianzeng said. "You can make smallest mistakes, can be hurt here as a pitcher. ... Because you're playing so many games, you're learning about yourself as a pitcher, and you're getting a lot more experience."

There are the inevitable hiccups because of communication issues and culture differences, including the style of play the Chinese players were used to, but Joseph said things have gone well overall.

"It's fun just to watch them interact with everybody, and themselves, and show up every day, kidding and joking," said McLaren, sitting in the coaches' office next to a narrow room cramped with lockers. 

"It's a clubhouse. They're a different culture, speak a different language, but the laugh in the clubhouse is the same.""


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Friday, June 15, 2018

Andy Pettitte debuts as Old Timer on Sunday, 6/17/18, throws bp before Friday's Rays-Yankee game

Above, 6/15/18, Coley Harvey twitter

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Thursday, June 07, 2018

Young Yankee fan in Toronto was able to use his "All Rise" sign in the 13th inning, Yankees at Blue Jays, after Aaron Judge home run-Wed., 6/6/18

Above, 6/6/18, Young Yankee fan in Toronto brought along his Aaron Judge "All Rise" sign and was able to use it in the 13th inning. Yankees at Blue Jays, final in 13 innings, Yankees 3, Blue Jays 0.
Screen shot from ESPN MLB video on box score page.

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Mike Francesa twitter page debuts 5/18/18

Above, 5/18/18, Banner at top of Mike Francesa twitter

Above, Mike's first tweet


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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Line of cars for Yankees at Nationals 4 hours before game time, parking attendant replaces $40 sign with $50 sign-Eddie Matz, ESPN

"Ticket prices aren't the only thing that soars when the Yankees come to town. With a line of cars waiting to get into the lot across the street from Nats Park a full four hours before game time, the attendant took the sign that says "$40" and replaced it with one that says "$50." New York is averaging 35,442 per road contest, second in the majors behind Arizona." Eddie Matz, ESPN...Yankees at Nationals

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Great news: Mike Francesa likely returning to WFAN in 3-7pm time slot-Newsday, Neil Best

Newsday back page, 4/25/18

4/24/18, "Francesa: 'It is time to return to WFAN'," Newsday, Neil Best

"A person at WFAN with knowledge of the plan said Francesa likely would reclaim a portion of his old afternoon drive time slot.

"Saying “it is time to return to WFAN,” Mike Francesa told Newsday on Tuesday morning that after four months away from the station he is ready for a comeback.

Francesa declined to elaborate on what form his return might take, but a person at WFAN with knowledge of the plan said he likely would reclaim a portion of his old afternoon drive time slot, from 3 to 7 p.m. It is not clear when that would occur.

Where would that leave his successors, Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott? Likely with a continuing role, but one that is shorter and less visible than their current 2 to 6:30 p.m. show.

The person at WFAN said the tentative plan would be for Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts to return to their old 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. slot — they have been on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. since January — with “CMB” being heard from 1 to 3 p.m.

Mark Chernoff, WFAN’s vice president of programming, did not immediately return a request for comment.

Francesa said he has been working on a project with the agency CAA and that he intended to include WFAN. He also alluded cryptically to a “campaign” to keep him from returning to the station that he left in December.

Francesa declined to answer followup questions about that or any other aspect of what he said, which was that, “I have been working on a project with CAA for months. That will be explained in the days ahead.

“This is for those who started this campaign in recent days. I didn’t decide to go back to WFAN until I was told I better not go back. For those behind it, that was the moment I decided to return.

“I will do everything to work WFAN into an integral part of the project. It is time to return to WFAN.”

Francesa’s last 1 to 6:30 p.m. show was Dec. 15. He was succeeded as of Jan. 2 by Carlin, Gray and Scott, who in their first full ratings book lost narrowly to ESPN New York’s Michael Kay in ratings among men ages 25-54 from 3 to 6:30 p.m., when the shows overlap. Kay never had beaten Francesa for a full ratings book.

Carlin, a former “Mike and the Mad Dog” producer, has had a strained relationship with Francesa for years. After Francesa and his former partner, Chris Russo, jokingly and obliquely referenced WFAN’s struggles on the MLB Network show “High Heat” on March 28, Carlin texted both men with a strongly worded expression of displeasure. Carlin posted a tweet on Tuesday morning that read, “How’s everybody’s day going so far?”

Carlin, Gray and Scott opened their Tuesday show by addressing the matter and taking the high road, even though Carlin acknowledged the situation is “awkward, of course it is.”

“All we can tell you is this: We’re not going anywhere,” Carlin said. “We’re going to be a big part of this radio station for a long time. This is a business. And you are talking about someone in Mike who was wildly successful for 30 years, so it only makes business sense to welcome somebody like that back into the fold.”

He added, “There is room for all of us here, and we’re all going to be here. Our show is going to continue to grow and I guarantee you one thing, we’re going to have a ton of fun doing it, and if Mike’s back in the afternoon, which it certainly looks like that’s going to be the case, it only makes the radio station stronger.

Carlin also said, “I have always loved this place, and I will always love this place.”

Said Gray, “There’s room for all of us here, and all of our voices can be heard . . . We’re going to continue to be something different. That’s why they hired us in the first place, right? Fresh perspective, a little something different.”

Scott joked, “I’m just trying to get out of the house,” then added, “I’m the only one here that has retired before. Retiring isn’t fun. I’m happy that I get to share this piece of real estate with you guys.” Scott also joked, “I know the [pay] check better clear.”

Francesa has been free to sign elsewhere since April 1 and has worked with CAA on what comes next. Apparently that “next” is at hand.

In March, Francesa told Newsday his departure from WFAN had been “very much an adjustment.”

He said, “Have there been times when I wish I had a forum and I wanted to express myself?

Absolutely. Many, many times that has come up. I have to say, I miss it more than I thought I would . . . There have been some [topics] that have gotten me. There’s no question. I don’t want to list them, but there’s been more than a few I would have loved to opine on.”"

Link for above image: 4/25/18, Newsday sports reporter, "Bob Glauber twitter"


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Monday, April 09, 2018

Chicago Cubs home opener postponed due to lack of global warming-4/9/18

4/9/18, "The Cubs have pushed their start time back an hour to 2:20 CT/3:20 EST for their home opener against the Pirates today due to weather. It's still currently snowing at Wrigley Field. Jesse Rogers ESPN Cubs twitter...(Update: Game postponed until Tues., 4/10

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Tuesday, April 03, 2018

US gives baseball to Facebook: Mets game Wed., April 4, 2018 can be viewed only on Facebook. MLB signed deal with Facebook global sports to stream 25 MLB games in 2018, says will be great for MLB global audience-NY Daily News, 3/9/18

3/9/18, "Facebook to exclusively stream 25 MLB games this season, starting with Phillies-Mets," NY Daily News, Evan Grossman

"MLB and Facebook reached an agreement to stream games on the social media site season, starting with Phillies-Mets on April 4. Facebook Watch will broadcast a total of 25 games this year, mostly on Wednesday afternoons, as part of MLB's first digital-only broadcasts.

"This partnership with Facebook reflects the ongoing commitment of Major League Baseball and our Clubs to connect with people around the world," Tony Petitti, Deputy Commissioner of Business and Media for Major League Baseball, said in a statement Friday. "It is a major creative step forward in serving our diverse, passionate community of fans, who will enjoy a uniquely interactive experience watching our games on Facebook each week."

First up will be the Mets and Phillies on the first Wednesday of the regular season. MLB will release the broadcast schedule a month at a time, to allow for more flexibility. Every MLB team has a certain number of national broadcasts they must be a part of each season, which will also dictate the rolling schedule.

As for the day and time, MLB selected mid-week afternoons to maximize the online audience. The thought is that most viewers are in front of a computer, most likely at work, in the middle of the week. The league is still working out the finer details, such as which announcers will be used on each game.

Game broadcasts will be produced by MLB Network and will feature a number of digital tools to enhance the viewing experience. Fans will be able to watch games on their mobile and desktop devices that have been designed for more immersive viewing, sharing and interacting consistent with the social media platform.
"We're excited to extend our partnership with Major League Baseball to make Facebook Watch a home for exclusive, live games every week this season," Dan Reed, Facebook's head of global sports partnerships, said. "Community and conversation are central to both baseball and Facebook, and MLB Network's innovative broadcasts will bring these interactive and social elements of the game to life to fans around the world in new ways on our platform."

Facebook has previously live streamed college football and UEFA Champions League games.

The first MLB broadcast will stream on Facebook Watch April 4 live from Citi Field. The remainder of the April schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, April 4: Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Mets, 1:10 p.m.

Wednesday, April 11: Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday, April 18: Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays, 4:07 p.m.

Thursday, April 26: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Philadelphia Phillies, 1:05 p.m." 


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Thursday, March 29, 2018

John Sterling's first home run call for Giancarlo Stanton, March 29, 2018

1st inning, Yankees at Blue Jays: "“Swung on and drilled to deep right-centerfield! It is high, it is far, it is gone! In his first Yankee at-bat, Giancarlo, non si puo stoparlo! It is a Stantonian home run, a two-run blast to right- center in his first Yankee at-bat, and the Yankees take a 2-0 lead!”" Per Neil Best, Sterling had indicated he'd use an Italian phrase though Stanton isn't Italian. It translates to, "Giancarlo you can't stop it," per google translate, says Mr. Best. Final score, 6-1, Yankees over Blue Jays


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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Aaron Judge will tower over NY City streets this year-Coley Harvey, ESPN

3/27/18, "As part of his new Adidas deal, Aaron Judge will tower over NYC streets this year. If the ad looks familiar, that’s because it was created by the Costacos Bros, designers of ‘90s posters featuring Ken Griffey, Jr., Randy Johnson and Pat Ewing among others. (Photo courtesy adidas)," Coley Harvey, ESPN twitter


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Monday, February 19, 2018

2018 Yankees aren't just built to break records. They're built to break windows-Mike Lupica, NY Daily News

2/18/18, "Yankees are team to watch but Astros are still the ones to beat in 2018," Mike Lupica, NY Daily News, W. Palm Beach

1/28/18, Stanton and Judge at BBWAA dinner, AP

"The Yankees are the team to watch this season in baseball, without question. Are you kidding? They’ve got All Rise Judge, who finished second in the MVP voting in the American League and hit 51 home runs, and even hit some balls at the Home Run Derby in Miami that have just now come down in Georgia someplace. The Yankees now have Giancarlo Stanton, who won the MVP award in the National League and hit 59 home runs in Miami. And they’ve still got Gary Sanchez. They aren’t just built to break records. They’re built to break windows."

Sun., 1/28/2018, "New teammates in NY: Judge, Stanton honored," MLB.com, At New York Baseball Writers Dinner



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