Friday, May 27, 2016

Bobby Ojeda from 1986 Mets World Series team on WFAN with Mike Francesa, Fri., May 27, 2016

Fri., May 27, 2016, Bobby Ojeda on WFAN with Mike Francesa talks about this weekend's celebration of the 1986 Mets and his views on the 2016 team. Bobby Ojeda. On the topic of Matt Harvey, Ojeda says he's a fan of Harvey, but that if Harvey can't straighten himself out in his next game, he should be sent to Las Vegas. Referring to Harvey's 2015 post season, Ojeda says it was wrong of Harvey in WS game 5, 9th inning, score 2-0 Mets, to beg his manager in the dugout to leave him in the game. Harvey went back out, jumped on the pitching rubber, and hasn't been the same since. He began by walking the next batter. The Mets finally lost in 12 innings.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Alex Rodriguez had two singles for Trenton Thunder v New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Above, "TRENTON - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 NY Yankees' designated hitter Alex Rodriguez returns from a disabled list stint (hamstring) suiting up for the Double-A Trenton Thunder vs the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Fans wait for an autograph opportunity which never came." Trenton Times

Above, "TRENTON - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 NY Yankees' designated hitter Alex Rodriguez returns from a disabled list stint (hamstring) suiting up for the Double-A Trenton Thunder vs the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Rodriguez throws a foul tip to fans while he was on deck." Trenton Times

Above, "TRENTON - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 NY Yankees' designated hitter Alex Rodriguez returns from a disabled list stint (hamstring) suiting up for the Double-A Trenton Thunder vs the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. (Michael Mancuso | For NJ.com )" Trenton Times

Above, "TRENTON - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 NY Yankees' designated hitter Alex Rodriguez returns from a disabled list stint (hamstring) suiting up for the Double-A Trenton Thunder vs the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Rodriguez fouls out his first time at bat. (Michael Mancuso)" Trenton Times

Above, "Tuesday, May 24, 2016 NY Yankees' designated hitter Alex Rodriguez returns from a disabled list stint (hamstring) suiting up for the Double-A Trenton Thunder vs the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Pre-game press conference. (Michael Mancuso | For NJ.com" Trenton Times

Trenton Thunder website, game tied 2-2 in 11th

5/24/16, "Alex Rodriguez with two singles for Thunder," Trenton Times, Sean Miller

"When a New York Yankees player comes to Trenton, there is usually some fanfare surrounding the contest. Tuesday night was no different, as Alex Rodriguez made the trip from the Bronx to suit up for the Thunder, as they took on the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

A-Rod was in the lineup for Trenton, batting third in the DH slot, as the Thunder looked to win the first two games of a four-game set with the Fisher Cats. He came up big for the hosts in the third inning, with an RBI single up the middle off of John Anderson, to give Trenton a 1-0 lead. His single with one out in the bottom of the seventh loaded the bases for Tyler Austin, who walked to force home Cito Culver.

The DH ended the Thunder fifth inning with a fielders choice ground-out to third base. Rodriguez may be here for two nights, as Yankees manager Joe Girardi told the player on Monday that he would be heading down to the Thunder.

"I have no idea (how long it'll last)," said Rodriguez. "I'm an employee."

"I'm not going to tell you exactly the details, but it was very positive conversation," A-Rod said. "Look, I have tons of respect and trust for Joe, so when he makes a request, I put a lot of value into that. He thought it would be a good idea for me to get some at-bats, and that's great."

With a near sell-out crowd of 6,217 fans, for what should be two straight nights with Rodriguez in town, the Thunder looked to build some more momentum at home. They have been red-hot at ARM and HAMMER Park, going 17-7 heading into Tuesday night. Trenton has not lost a series at home this season.

It is a stark contrast to the Thunder's play on the road, where they are 6-12. Trenton has won just one series, at Erie, to end the month of April. With 14 of their next 20 games, and 20 of 32, on the road following Thursday's 10:30 a.m. series finale with the Fisher Cats, the Thunder will look to get a boost from this four game set.

Reigning Eastern League Player of the Month Dietrich Enns will get the ball Wednesday night, after a stint in Scranton Wilkes-Barre."


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Arod is in Trenton, NJ for Tuesday night rehab game, New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Trenton Thunder. Arod will face New Hampshire left hander John Anderson

5/24/16, "Yankees' Alex Rodriguez arrives in Trenton; What you need to know," Trenton Times, Randy Miller

"The presence of Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez was at Waterford Park before he even stepped on the field to play a minor-league rehab game for the Trenton Thunder on Tuesday night.

Outside the ballpark Rodriguez's picture is on the team's video billboard outside the ballpark and there's a life-size cutup of him in a Yankee uniform inside the ticket booth.

Alex has arrived," Thunder media relations manager John Mozes told early press box arrives at 3:45 p.m.  "He's in the weight room and will be taking BP at 4 p.m."

Rodriguez will hit third and DH for the Thunder, which is the Yankees' Class AA Eastern League affiliate, in a game against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

This will be A-Rod's first game since he strained his right hamstring during a game in Baltimore on May 4. He went on the 15-day disabled list the next day and was hopeful of returning when first eligible last Thursday, but he didn't quite feel ready when running last week before Yankees games in Phoenix and Oakland.

The Yankees announced the rehab game for A-Rod on Monday after saying for days that he wouldn't need one. He's expected to return Wednesday for a second game, as well, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said in New York.

A-Rod will be hitting on Tuesday against New Hampshire left-hander John Anderson, who is 2-4 with a 5.14 ERA in eight starts this season.

Anderson, 27, was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 28th round of the 2008 draft out of Chabot College. The Pleasanton, Calif., native is 21-27 with a 4.49ERA in 135 career minor-league games, 67 as a starter."

Above image caption: "The Trenton Thunder is letting fans know that Alex Rodriguez will be playing for them Tuesday night in a video billboard outside Waterford Park in Trenton." from Trenton Times

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Field in progress for Fort Bragg MLB game

5/19/16, "The field for the game is coming along nicely!" Atlanta Braves twitter

Among comments:

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Some Yankee shirts in the stands in Arizona, Wed., May 17, 2016

"Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Brandon Drury watches a two-run homer by New York Yankees' Brett Gardner fly into the bleachers in the 1st inning in Phoenix, Ariz., on Wednesday, May 18, 2016." photo AZCentral Sports. Final 4-2 Yankees over Diamondbacks

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Aroldis Chapman brings life to sleepy Yankee Stadium

5/12/16, "Aroldis Chapman warming up on Thursday. He did not enter that game but has been a captivating presence on the Yankees, who are trying to crawl out of last place. Credit Alex Goodlett for The New York Times." Chapman is a free agent after this season.

5/14/16, "Aroldis Chapman, Yankees’ New Fireballer, Is Kindling Fans’ Excitement," NY Times, Billy Witz

"The seats had mostly emptied late Tuesday, but some fans could not bring themselves to leave Yankee Stadium. Their mad dash to the subway had come to a halt, and they congregated four and five deep along the field-level concourse.
What kept them anchored was the man standing on the pitcher’s mound: Aroldis Chapman.

Chapman, the newest Yankee, who became eligible Monday after serving a 30-game domestic violence suspension, has brought a buzz to the late innings at the often somnolent stadium with a fastball that rides steadily at 100 miles an hour.

When Chapman enters through the bullpen gate, he is accompanied by a beat-thumping music medley and a montage of flaming scoreboard graphics, which awaken the crowd as would one of his fastballs under the chin.

Even though Yankee Stadium is empty, it’s like there’s life back in it,” Elan Wilkenfeld said Tuesday as he stood in the right-field corner with his friend Ross Rubin, watching Chapman work the final inning of a 10-7 Yankees victory.

For a team that has been competitive but not dynamic — and devoid of much personality — in recent seasons, Chapman may be the Yankees’ most captivating presence as they try to crawl out of last place in the American League East.

But because he is a closer — used almost exclusively when the Yankees have a lead but not too large a lead — it is uncertain each night if Chapman will appear.

On Thursday night, Gregg Fein, who was seated in the right-field bleachers, peered down into the bullpen with his two young sons to watch Chapman warm up while the Yankees extended their lead with two late runs on the way to a 7-3 victory.

“I’m kind of torn,” Fein said. “If we score a bunch of runs here, Chapman won’t come into the game.”

Indeed, with a comfortable margin, the Yankees saved him for another day."...

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

NY City's three major airports inform TSA they can no longer tolerate its incompetence, will find private firm for passenger screening if improvements not made-ABC News

5/10/16, "NYC Airports: We Can No Longer Tolerate TSA's 'Inadequacy'," ABC News, David Kerley, Jeffrey Cook

"Management of the New York City area’s three major airports is fed up with long lines at security check points, and they have given the Transportation Security Administration an ultimatum: Either shorten the lines or we’ll find someone else to do it. 

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, tasked with running John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports, is threatening to privatize the process of screening passengers before boarding their flight, according to a document sent from the Port Authority to TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger. 

“We can no longer tolerate the continuing inadequacy of the TSA passenger services,” the letter obtained by ABC News reads. 

According to the Port Authority, the March 15 to April 15 period at JFK saw 253 reported occurrences of 20-plus-minute waits. In 2015, only 10 instances were reported over the same time period. 

“The patience of the flying public has reached a breaking point,” the letter reads. Passenger wait times have "risen dramatically in recent months, prompting angry complaints from passengers, terminal operators, and airlines alike citing inconvenience, delayed flights, and missed flight connections." 

While the Port Authority says it understands the challenges facing TSA, it says it “is exploring the merits” of participating in private screening “to enhance flexibility in the assignments and operating hours of front line screening staff.” 

They wouldn’t be the first. The busiest airport in the country, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, made a similar threat in February. 

San Francisco International Airport and Kansas City International Airport both have private firms handling a significant amount of passengers. These firms must meet the same standards and protocols as TSA and pay officers at least what TSA pays. The airports and firms also must go through a process to get approved.

A TSA spokesperson said the agency is addressing the growing volume of travelers, but that “TSA’s primary focus is the current threat environment, as the American transportation system remains a high value target for terrorists." 

TSA said it will respond to the Port Authority directly. The agency said there is no noticeable difference in wait times between federalized and non-federalized screening points. The agency encourages travelers to sign up for TSA Pre or other trusted traveler programs like Global Entry and to arrive at airports at least two hours before a domestic flight."

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Saturday, May 07, 2016

Two MLB games scheduled to be played in Puerto Rico have been moved to Miami due to players' concerns about Zika virus-BBC

5/6/16, "Puerto Rico baseball games moved due to players' Zika fears," BBC

"Two Major League Baseball games that were scheduled to be played in Puerto Rico have been moved due to players' concerns about the Zika virus.

The games between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Miami Marlins have been moved to Miami instead. Players said they were worried about contracting the virus and passing it to their partners. Zika is suspected to cause birth defects in babies whose mothers had it while pregnant.

The island has seen more than 600 cases of the virus.

In a statement, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) said Commissioner of Baseball Robert D Manfred Jr "had no choice" but to relocate the games because so many players had partners who were pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

The statement also said baseball would hopefully be played in Puerto Rico again "in the near future" and that those concerned would "continue to support the growth of the game in Puerto Rico, where an outstanding baseball tradition has long made the island an important venue for the game". More than 20 countries are reporting cases of Zika, which is spread by mosquitoes.

The country which has been worst affected by the outbreak, Brazil, is due to host the Olympic Games in August 2016.

The authorities there said in February that there was no chance the Games would be cancelled due to the outbreak, and that there was no risk to players or spectators except for pregnant women.

Since then, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said sexually transmitted transmission of Zika is more common than previously thought."


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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Minnesota Twins remember Prince at 4/25/16 home game

4/25/16, "Rest in Purple, Prince," Minnesota Twins twitter. Final 4-3, Twins over Cleveland Indians. More from Prince tribute night.

4/25/16, "The Twins win in a walk-off on Prince night," ESPN Baseball Tonight. Final 4-3, Twins over Cleveland Indians

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Monday, April 11, 2016

F-16s flyover Minnesota Twins home opener vs Chicago White Sox, 4/11/16

4/11/16, "Teams line up for the Minnesota Twins home opener as two F-16's perform a flyover above Target Field prior to the baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Monday, April 11, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)" Final 4-1, White Sox over Twins

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Saturday, April 09, 2016

Arod happy to be in Detroit and enjoying Saturday night dinner-4/9/16

4/9/16, "Great to be back out on the road. Saturday night dinner in Detroit. Alex Rodriguez, Arod Twitter. Final 8-4 Yankees over Tigers

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Thursday, April 07, 2016

2016 Hagerstown Suns include sons of Bucky Dent, Cal Ripken, and Mariano Rivera: Cody, Ryan, and Mo-Hagerstown-Mail

4/6/16, "In Ripken, Rivera, Dent, Hagerstown Suns have famous baseball sons," Herald-Mail Media, Bob Parasiliti

"As the Hagerstown Suns' manager, Patrick Anderson is on a first-name basis with his players.

“To me, they are Ryan, Mo and Cody,” Anderson said Wednesday during the Suns annual media day.

“That’s how we know them. They have their own identities and personalities. They have their own careers.”

They are like any other Single-A minor league prospects. They are working hard to get a foot in a major league clubhouse door. Their only difference is they all have a pedigree.

Ripken is taking up the family business of baseball, following his famous father Cal Ripken Jr., the beloved former Baltimore Orioles infielder and recent Hall of Famer.

Rivera is attempting to pick up where his dad left off. Mariano Rivera retired after the 2014 season as the legendary closer for the New York Yankees.

And Dent, who is returning for a second season with the Suns, plays the infield just like his father, Bucky Dent.

The elder Dent won two World Series rings as the Yankees shortstop and is best known for his late-inning home run in the 1978 American League playoff game against Boston.

The trio are one of the storylines unfolding with the 2016 Hagerstown Suns. While the franchise and its future in Hagerstown continues to be a political baseball, the team opens up its 36th season tonight at 6 against the Delmarva Shorebirds.

With their last names, Ripken, Rivera and Dent are an automatic focal point for a young Hagerstown team.

The Suns will be giving Ripken his first chance to really play since he was drafted in the 15th round in 2014 by the Washington Nationals.

“He’s a great kid,” Anderson said of the 6-foot-6 Ripken. “He hasn’t played for the last two seasons because he has been hurt. He rolled his ankle and needed surgery. But he is a left-left (hitting and throwing) first baseman. I’m happy he’s healthy and he going to get his chance.”

Ripken has played parts of two seasons in the Gulf Coast League, the Nationals' rookie level club. He played 44 total games with a .217 batting average, including two home runs and 14 RBIs.

This will be his first attempt of playing full-season baseball, which is a 140-game schedule, instead of the 70 games or fewer played in the lower divisions.

"We are going to have to watch him a little," Anderson said. "He is a little behind because he hasn't had the number of at-bats some of these other guys have. He's raw.

"We all know he is going to face attention because of his last name. He’s humble, and he listens to everything he’s told. You love to have that. He's just Ryan to me."

With Rivera, the Suns got the latest edition to a trilogy.

“We call him 'Three,'” Anderson said. “Because he is the third Mariano in his family."

The 5-11 right-hander had a 1-2 record with five saves and a 5.45 ERA at Auburn, Washington's New York-Penn League affiliate.

With the Suns, Rivera will start following his father's footsteps, but it comes after changing his shoes.

"He is like his dad. He’s going to be in the bullpen setting up and closing games," Anderson said. "He played soccer for most of his life before he picked up baseball for some reason.”

The lynchpin for the Suns might well be Dent, who is one of seven players returning to Hagerstown to start the season. Fans will have to pay attention to the Suns' lineup every night, just to see where he is playing.

“Cody has been here parts of the last two years, and he can play all the infield and outfield positions,” Anderson said.

Dent is in his third year in the Nationals organization after being selected in the 22nd round of the 2013 draft. He has played for the Nats' four different Single-A teams on the half-season and full-season levels.

Dent's versatility will allow Anderson to use many combinations of players, while rotating the roster to give the team rest.

He will be working on trying to improve his .193 career batting average. He hit a career-best .226 for Hagerstown last season.

“He has to work on his swing," Anderson said. "It is a work in progress.”

The three big-name players will be the calling card for the Suns this season. How they develop will have a definite impact on Hagerstown's success in 2016.

Anderson thought about one possible other benefit for Suns fans this season.

"We could have some famous family coming in to watch them play," he said." image from Herald-Mail Media

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Sunday, April 03, 2016

Opening Day in Pittsburgh, April 3, 2016. Final 4-1, Pirates over Cardinals

4/3/16, Opening Day in Pittsburgh, Cardinals v Pirates, final 4-1 Pirates, MLB instagram photo


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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

After 1988 season, WABC GM Fred Weinhaus wanted a new Yankee radio play by play man. Steve Malzberg suggested John Sterling. Weinhaus had never heard of him but said, 'get him on the phone.' The rest is history-NY Radio Message Board

3/14/16, "Re: CBS renews Sterling/Waldman for Yankees radio," NY Radio Message Board

"Posted by Steve Malzberg on March 14, 2016 at 23:24:43:

In Reply to: CBS renews Sterling/Waldman for Yankees radio posted by Charles Everett on March 08, 2016 at 11:41:01:

"Congrats to John and Susan. Little known fact, when WABC GM Fred Weinhaus wanted a new play by play man after 1988 season, I suggested John, who Weinhaus had never heard of. He said "get him on the phone". The rest is history.""


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Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Ten 2016 Yankee spring training games on radio, Sat. March 5-Sun. March 27. Sterling and Waldman sign multi-year renewals with WFAN, CBS Radio

Ten 2016 Yankee spring training games on WFAN radio:

Sat., March 5, 1:05pm
Sun., March 6, 1:05pm
Sat., March 12, 1:05pm
Sun., March 13, 1:05pm
Wed., March 16, 6:35pm
Fri., March 18, 6:35pm
Sat., March 19, 1:05pm
Sun., March 20, 1:05pm
Sat., March 26, 1:07pm
Sun., March 27, 1:05pm

Opening day., Mon. April 4, 1:05pm


3/3/16, "WFAN Announces New Deals With Yankees Broadcasters Sterling, Waldman," WFAN radio, newyork.cbslocal.com

"The radio voices of the Yankees are sticking around. WFAN announced on Friday that play-by-play man John Sterling and analyst Suzyn Waldman have signed new multi-year contracts.

Yankees baseball on the radio provides a soundtrack for the summer, and it would be unimaginable to listen to the Bronx Bombers without these two iconic broadcasters,” said CBS Radio New York senior VP and market manager Marc Rayfield. “This is a special year, particularly as John closes in on his 5000th consecutive broadcast, an ironman feat almost as remarkable as Cal Ripken, Jr and Lou Gehrig’s legendary streaks.”

WFAN has served as the flagship station for the 27-time world champions since 2014. Sterling and Waldman have worked together for the last 11 years.

“We’re thrilled Yankees fans will continue to hear this legendary broadcast team that has been together for more than a decade. John and Suzyn are as much a part of Yankee tradition as Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Derek Jeter and Yogi Berra,” said Mark Chernoff, CBS Radio VP of sports programming and WFAN program director.

Sterling is set to begin his 28th consecutive year calling Yankees games. He’s also done play-by-play for the Islanders, Nets, Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks during his legendary career. Waldman covered the Yankees for WFAN from 1987-2001 before teaming with Sterling four years later. She has also covered the Knicks and served as a midday host for the station.

WFAN will broadcast its first spring training game on Saturday when the Yankees take on the Boston Red Sox." via River Ave. Blues

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Saturday, February 27, 2016

MLB Pace of Game: As of 2016, game will match time allotted to broadcasters between innings

2/25/16, "MLB rules changes focus on slides and on pace of play," Arizona Central Sports, via MLB press release

"Pace of Game"

"The pace of game program will expand this season to include timed 30-second visits to the pitcher’s mound by managers and pitching coaches. In addition, break timers will now mirror the time allotted to broadcasters between innings: 2:05 for locally televised games and 2:25 for nationally televised games, a reduction of 20 seconds each from the 2015 season, when the timers counted down from 2:25 for local games and from 2:45 for national games. The change aims to allow players to more closely match the resumption of play with the return of broadcasters from commercial breaks.

The vast majority of last year’s newly implemented pace of game initiatives will continue in 2016.  The 2015 changes centered around enhanced enforcement of Rule 5.04(b)(4) – the “Batter’s Box Rule” – and the addition of ballpark timers measuring the break time between innings and during pitching changes.  Those efforts contributed to a reduction of six minutes and seven seconds (6:07) per nine-inning game from 2014 to 2015, dropping the average length from 3:02:21 to 2:56:14."

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Monday, February 08, 2016

Can't wait! Who's ready for spring training? Alex Rodriguez twitter

2/5/16, "Can't wait! Who's ready?
Alex Rodriguez twitter

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Sunday, February 07, 2016

In 1998 when Ken Griffey Jr. hit 56 home runs, Sammy Sosa 66, and Mark McGwire 70, no one on the Yankees hit more than 28 homers (Tino Martinez)

2/5/16, "Pinch hitting: Mike Pinto," Lohud Yankees blog, "Shift happens"

"In ’98, when Ken Griffey Jr. hit 56, Sammy Sosa 66 and Mark McGwire 70 home runs,
Commenters add:

"Ryan Handt Co Owner at Muve Clothing

Hey, Don't let the fact that only 20 players in all of baseball hit over 300 this past year (2015) skew your judgement of the time. In 1996, 47 players hit over 300, and in 98, 49. Baseball is a different game today and it's something you have to accept. I would love a team of 300 hitters, but that's not happening. And your Kansas City Royals had only one player bat over 300 in Cain. They did have a few guys in the 290s, but that's not won the championship. In the post, they had two guys hit over 300 and no one else about 273. What won them the championship was the starting pitching, the lights-out bullpen and scratching across enough runs."

"Josh Hosh Paladino Consumables Sales Associate at Walmart

Their bullpen won them the world series more than having a high batting average did. It certainly is a different game now than 15 to 20 years ago. Offense is way down. Guys who hit .300 are hard to come by now."

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Former Seattle Mariners coach Andy Van Slyke slams Robinson Cano during CBS Sports radio interview-Seattle Times

11/19/15, "Ex-Mariners coach slams Robinson Cano," Seattle Times, Ryan Divish

"Former Seattle Mariners coach Andy Van Slyke blasted Robinson Cano on Wednesday, blaming the star second baseman for many of the M’s dysfunctions during 2015 that led to the firing of general manager Jack Zduriencik, manager Lloyd McClendon and the rest of the coaching staff.

In a radio interview for CBSSports 920 AM in St. Louis, Van Slyke basically torpedoed his chances of future employment, spilling gossip not only about the Mariners but also the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Van Slyke was in charge of Seattle’s outfielders and also served as an assistant hitting coach for part of the season until Howard Johnson was fired and Edgar Martinez was brought in to replace him. Along with much of the coaching staff from the last two seasons, Van Slyke was not brought back for this year.

In the third segment of his radio appearance, he started off by saying the Dodgers’ highest-paid player — implying Clayton Kershaw — told L.A.’s general manager to get rid of Yasiel Puig. Van Slyke’s son, Scott, is an outfielder for the Dodgers. Van Slyke was then asked about Jason Heyward and where he would hit him, but he started talking about lineup protection and he mentioned Cano and Nelson Cruz.

Then he just kept rolling into talking about the Mariners. He pretty much skewered his former organization, specifically Cano, labeling him as the reason for the team’s failures and the firings of general manager Jack Zduriencik and McClendon, and by extension the coaching staff.

Here’s the link to the segment. The Mariners talk starts about three minutes into the conversation.

Here’s a partial transcript:

Van Slyke: “In Seattle, we had (Nelson) Cruz, who was probably the most dominant hitter that I’ve ever personally seen for four months and Cano hitting in front of him. So you would think that Cano would have had a terrific year. But he had probably the worst single year of an every day player that I’ve ever seen in 20 years at the big league level.”
Host: “How did that happen?”
Van Slyke: “He was just the most awful player I’ve ever seen.”
Host: “It wasn’t work ethic. He tries.”
Van Slyke: “He does sometimes.”
Host: “So what happened there, so much promise for your club after you and Lloyd McClendon joined two years ago. What happened last year?”
Van Slyke: “Well our bullpen blew up. Fernando Rodney was horrible. He blew nine of the first 18 chances. Your highest paid, supposedly best player – I mean Robbie’s not a bad guy, let me say that before I say anything bad about how he played. But Robinson Cano was the single worst third-place, every-day player I’ve ever seen – I’ve ever seen for the first half of a baseball season. He couldn’t drive home Miss Daisy if he tried. He couldn’t get a hit when it mattered. He played the worst defense I’ve ever seen at second base. I mean I’m talking about the worst defensive second baseman ever – I’ve ever seen in 20 years in the big leagues. He couldn’t catch the ball. No, I take that back. Any ball that was hit to him was an out. Any ball that he had a chance to turn a double play, he’s still maybe the best in the game today. He’s got a great arm. But I’m telling you, Frank: Robinson Cano cost the GM his job. The hitting coach got fired because of Cano. And the manager and the coaches got fired because of Cano. That’s how much impact he has on the organization. He was the worst player and it cost people their jobs in the process.”

Then conversation then turned to the hitting coach position and Edgar Martinez when the host asked if the hitting coach was fired midseason.

Van Slyke: “Howard Johnson was a joy to work with. This guy, I’m telling you, he is a wonderful person. He loved his job. I didn’t coaches could care – I wish I cared about the players as much as he did. This guy took every at-bat personally. The guy was unbelievably joyful when a guy got a hit or a home run or we won a game because of the offense. He took total responsibility when we lost because we didn’t score enough runs. He lived and died every night with those players.”
Host: Did they force Lloyd McClendon or pressure him to fire Howard Johnson?
Van Slyke: Here’s what happened. Edgar Martinez wanted to get back into baseball and there were teams inquiring about him for their hitting coach. Now how would it look like if the offense that struggled for a year and a half in Seattle let Edgar Martinez walk to some other organization when Howard Johnson is the hitting coach and you can’t score runs. He was fired from upstairs, not the manager’s office. And Edgar Martinez walked in the next day and had a job and will have a job in Seattle as long as he’s breathing air because he’s Edgar Martinez. Let me ask you this: ‘Are you going to fire Edgar Martinez when he has a restaurant in the stadium and an exit ramp to the stadium with his name on it. He has a lifetime contract with them.”

What’s mildly amusing is that Van Slyke goes on to say that the hitting coach position has very little role.

Let’s get to his criticisms.

Cano was awful in the first two months of the season. There’s no debate about that. The numbers...

But if that’s the worst he’s seen in 20 years of baseball. Well, then he hasn’t been watching closely. Yes, based on what Cano makes, it’s awful. But from a baseball standpoint, this is an organization that started Jose Lopez, Dustin Ackley and Chone Figgins at second base for extended periods and went with a tandem of Jack Wilson and Brendan Ryan and second base and shortstop. To be fair, Cano was dealing with some intestinal issues from an offseason virus and was having trouble eating and holding food down. I think that was a factor along with horrible pitch selection and a pull-happy approach. So he was bad for two months.

Now we know that Cano picked it up, specifically starting around June.  Here are the numbers from June 1 on:...

Let’s not forget that Cano also played the final two months with hernia issues that would require double hernia surgery. Here are his numbers after he came back from the injury....

Cano has had better years and his failures early hurt the team along with several careless/thoughtless base-running miscues on a team that committed far too many. But to sit and blame one guy as the only reason the general manager and manager  and coaching staff lost their jobs is hyperbolic.

Failure in baseball over 162 games is far from an individual thing. One person wasn’t the sole cause of the Mariners’ 76-86 record this season. A flawed 40-man roster construction, massive bullpen regression highlighted by27 defeats in their opponents final at-bats and 12 walk-off losses, failures at catcher, injuries to two key starting pitchers and poor performances were all factors.

Also, Lloyd McClendon and the coaching staff lost their jobs because a new general manager was brought in. And most times when a new GM comes in, they want to put their own people in those positions. And for Jerry Dipoto that desire was even higher based on what transpired in Anaheim.

Zduriencik was fired for the organizational failure. And saying Robinson Cano was the reason why is grossly overlooking the previous seven years, poor trades, failed drafts and a sagging farm system to go with a general lack of a coordination.

The 2015 Mariners were a collective failure. Perhaps Robinson Cano had a bigger role in it than others. But he wasn’t the sole reason for it.

So there’s the Van Slyke interview and a few thoughts. You can make of it what you will."

Robinson Cano, Baseball Reference

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Saturday, November 07, 2015

Lance Berkman seeks tolerance and equality for views that differ from those on the left-Larry Brown Sports

"(Lance) Berkman does bring up a common complaint held by those with conservative political beliefs. They feel like liberals want equality yet they shame anyone who doesn’t share their beliefs. It’s a fair complaint, too; the people who are fighting so hard for equal rights for mainly are focused on an LGBT agenda and forgetting about the religious beliefs of others."

11/5/15, "Lance Berkman speaks on media bias against right wingers," Larry Brown Sports, by Larry Brown

"Lance Berkman has been vocal in his opposition to HERO – the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance which failed at the polls on Tuesday.

The ordinance, which was approved by city council last May but got voted onto the ballot as a referendum to repeal it, sought to protect people from discrimination regardless of sexual orientation/gender identity, in addition to many other items such as gender, race, age, religion, etc.

Berkman, a six-time former MLB All-Star, opposed the ordinance, feeling that it would leave the door open for men to enter womens’ restrooms based on the gender identity aspect. He called into the Michael Berry Show on KTRH in Houston to explain his stance.

“Too many Christians don’t want to offend,” Berkman said of those who haven’t spoken up.

“To me tolerance is the virtue that’s killing this country. We’re tolerant of everything. Everything is okay, and as long as you want to do it and as long as it feels good to you, then it’s perfectly acceptable do it. Those are the kinds of things that lead you down a slippery slope, and you’ll get in trouble in a hurry.”

Berkman then explained why he speaks up.

“Whenever I have an opportunity to make a stand for Christ and to make a stand for values that I think are right and that I know work and practice…I’m going to do that. I’m going to try to use my platform for good. There are consequences for that — you get called names.

One of the great things about this country is we can have different opinions. We have two different political parties, two different opinions on the way government should be run, and it’s okay. It’s okay for me to have an opinion that’s different from your opinion. What’s become a shame is that it seems like anybody who has an opinion from the right immediately gets castigated, called a bigot by voicing that opinion, whereas the other side can voice their opinion and we’re expected to pander to them, give them their respect …”

Berkman does bring up a common complaint held by those with conservative political beliefs. They feel like liberals want equality yet they shame anyone who doesn’t share their beliefs. It’s a fair complaint, too; the people who are fighting so hard for equal rights for mainly are focused on an LGBT agenda and forgetting about the religious beliefs of others." 

I disagree with Berkman’s beliefs, but I agree with some of the criticisms he raises. And I also think it’s poor form that some outlets just jump on one line he says about “tolerance” and disregard — or worse yet — not even listen to everything else he said.

I’m against depriving anybody of their civil rights but by the same token the ordinance was so poorly-written, Berkman also said in his comments.

To me that’s a very fair comment by Berkman, and it’s unfortunate people just flogged him without reading that part. Berkman isn’t saying tolerance is a bad thing; he’s saying that lines have to be drawn in society. For instance, we have decided that people can’t have sex with anyone they want; we have lines about what age is old enough to consent to sex; whether intercourse among family members is acceptable; or even whether you’re allowed to have relations with non-humans. We’ve drawn a line and decided what of that is illegal. Drawing some lines is what I believe he’s talking about when he mentions tolerance."

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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Mets win World Series game 3, 'Big Shots,' Newsday back page, Sat. Oct. 31, 2015

10/31/15, Newsday back page after Mets win World Series game 3 v Royals, 9-3. The Grandyman can.

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Friday, October 16, 2015

American flag, ALCS game 1, Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals, 10/16/15

10/16/15, "Doug Padilla ESPN Staff Writer: A fly over, two anthems and it's time to play ball in the ALCS," ESPN. Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals, ALCS game 1

10/16/15, American flag at opening ceremonies of ALCS game 1, Kansas City Royals twitter 

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YES! Mets win game 5, move to NLCS v Cubs-Newsday back page, Fri., October 16, 2015

Fri., 10/16/15, Newsday back page, "YES!"

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Kansas City Royals CF Jarrod Dyson does back flip after team wins ALDS

10/14/15, "Royals CF Jarrod Dyson didn't throw an epic bat flip -- but he did have this celebratory back flip after advancing to the ALCS." ap via ESPN. Final, 7-2 Royals over Astros in Kansas City, Missouri. Dyson has been in Royals post season lineups in 2015 and 2014. He didn't play in the game tonight but was of course happy his team won.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Jose Bautista hits 3 run homer in 7th and and flips his bat

10/14/15, "That bat flip, though. #JoeyBatflip," Baseball Tonight twitter. Final, 6-3, Blue Jays defeat Rangers in Toronto. Blue Jays advance to ALCS.

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Monday, October 12, 2015

NLDS game 3 tonight in Queens, Dodgers v Mets

10/12/15, NY Mets twitter, NLDS game 3 v LA Dodgers tonight in Queens

from NY Mets twitter

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Roof closed at Minute Maid Park for ALDS game 3, Kansas City Royals v Houston Astros

10/11/15, Roof closed at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Kansas City Royals at Houston Astros, ALDS game three. Final, 4-2 Astros

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Friday, October 09, 2015

Tarp proves as inexorable as lack of global warming drought in Kansas City, Royals crew member doing fine

10/8/15, Above, tarp moved faster than grounds crew member, 10/8/15, ESPN, Baseball Tonight

10/8/15, Above, ESPN Baseball Tonight, rain delay in Kansas City for ALDS Game 1 v Houston Astros. Rain delay at end of second inning lasted 49 minutes, final score 5-2 Houston Astros over Kansas City Royals

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Monday, October 05, 2015

CC Sabathia helps restore order during Blue Jays-Yankee game, Sept. 15, 2009

9/16/2009, Newsday back page, Pettitte and Sabathia accompany Posada to the dugout, 9/15/2009 game v Blue Jays. Brawl happened in bottom of 8th, Cervelli replaced Posada behind the plate in the top of the 9th. Final score, Blue Jays 10, Yankees 4. Image caption for above from Newsday: "(Credit: John Dunn) Jorge Posada is restrained by Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia after a brawl with the Toronto Blue Jays in the eighth inning. (September 15, 2009)" More pictures of brawl. Sorry, don't have link to 2009 Newsday cover, but here's link to my original post on 9/16/2009 with Newsday back cover.

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Arod at practice before Wild Card game at the Stadium

10/5/15, "Big showdown just one day away. Astros-Yankees gets MLB's postseason started Tuesday (8 p.m. ET on ESPN) with the AL wild-card game at Yankee Stadium. Alex Rodriguez helped the Yankees reach their first playoff game since 2012." ap photo

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

LA Angels Halo lights up after David Freese walk-off home run

To see Halo animation, visit Angels twitter. 9/26/15, "FINAL - Angels 3, Mariners 2 David Freese wins it with his first career walk-off home run!" Angels twitter, MLB

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Alex Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera reflect on business and baseball at Carnegie Hall, Thursday afternoon, Sept. 24

9/15/15, "Mariano Rivera and Alex Rodriguez Headline "Refections on Business and Baseball" September 24th," AthleteSpeakers.com, Carson Ingle

"Steiner Sports has put together another great night featuring New York Yankees legends.  Baseball’s all-time great closer Mariano Rivera is teaming up with current comeback success Alex Rodriguez for a great [afternoon] catering to Yankees fans and business professionals.

On (Thursday) September 24th, “Reflections on Business and Baseball” will take place at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York at 1:00.  Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Mark Lasry will also join Rivera and Rodriguez.

General Admission includes one mezzanine seat and costs $99.  To purchase tickets call 914-307-1065 or email CorporateMarketing@SteinerSports.com.

Rivera tallied an MLB record 652 saves during 17 seasons as Yankees closer. The 13-time All-Star won five World Series titles in pinstripes and holds postseason records with a 0.70 ERA and 42 saves.

In 2013, the Yankees retired Rivera’s jersey.  He has also devoted his efforts in retirement to the several charitable causes through the Mariano Rivera Foundation.

Rodriguez has been one of the biggest stories in baseball after missing the entire 2014 season.  He collected his 3000th hit this year and is currently hitting .257 with 31 homeruns and 82 RBI.

Currently, Rodriguez ranks fourth in baseball history with 685 homers.  The 14-time All-Star has long been a prodigy since being the first overall pick of the Seattle Mariners in 1993."... First image from Athlete Speakers, second image from CarnegieHall.org

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Friday, September 11, 2015

World Trade Center Jumpers, September 11, 2001

Above, Jumpers, 9/11/01, Reuters photo

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"The Falling Man," 9/11/01, ap photo by Richard Drew, via Esquire

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9/10/11, "The 9/11 victims America wants to forget: The 200 jumpers who flung themselves from the Twin Towers who have been 'airbrushed from history'," UK Daily Mail, Tom Leonard
  • "Almost all of them jumped alone, although eyewitnesses talked of a couple who held hands as they fell."...
9/10/11, "Children of 9/11: Life with a parent missing," Newsday, Carol Polsky
9/9/11, "WaPo's Dionne: 'Time to Leave 9/11 Behind' as 'A Simple Day of Remembrance'," NewsBusters
A witness saw people jump to their death from the World Trade Center: "Then the crowd let out a collective gasp, I looked to see the first of many people falling through the sky. The television stations and the newspapers downplayed this aspect of a day already filled with enough shock and terror, but I place great importance on it because it immediately human-ised the situation for both myself and those around me. This wasn’t just a burning building; it was suddenly full of people, friends, and family. For me, it is the most haunting memory of the day. When I focussed on what the crowd had noticed, I too let out a cry so involuntary and so primeval that I barely recognised it as my own. It was not a piece of building falling to the ground, but a man, recognisable by his flapping tie and flailing arms and legs as he fell through the air. The situation was surreal no longer; my body shook with shock, my knees buckled and a light-headedness overwhelmed me with such severity that I thought I was either going to throw-up or fall down.
I sat down and looked up only to see more people jumping. I thought for a moment that they might have fallen, but there were too many people, their arms windmilling as they subconsciously tried to fight gravity and avoid the inevitable. Haunted by these visions numerous times since the incident, I have tormented myself by trying to imagine the extreme conditions that those people must have faced that they should choose certain death by leaping from the building over clinging to any hope of rescue. What were they thinking when they jumped; what did they think on the way down?...But my fear is that to forget is to fail the lesson and lose the opportunity. That’s why this raw wound will never completely heal and that things can never go back to ‘normal’. Because even as a simple bystander I have a responsibility to incite change for the rest of my life or I watched all those people die in vain."
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