Monday, July 31, 2006

Scott Miller must be desperate for a job at ESPN

Scott races out of the box today--surprise--instead of saying smaller market teams will have millions more of the hard-working Yankee fan's money to spend--he bashes the Yankee team in a torrent of hate. Scott, you won. The Yankees have to pay 40% of the cost of the additional salaries in luxury tax to MLB--and God knows where that goes. Then, the Yankee fan has to pay another chunk of millions to revenue sharing--all of which goes in the pocket of lower payroll teams! You should be happy, Scott! But, his company shares this insightful blurb about Scott:
  • "A wayward Midwesterner transplanted dangerously close to several In-N-Out burger locations in Southern California, Scott Miller has covered baseball for a variety of publications during the past 13 years before becoming the national baseball writer for CBS SportsLine.com in October 1999.

    A native of Monroe, Mich., Miller graduated from Hillsdale (Mich.) College in 1985 and soon thereafter began covering sports for the Los Angeles Times, San Diego edition. After covering the San Diego Padres and the then-California Angels, Miller returned to the Midwest as the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press beat man covering the Minnesota Twins from 1994-1999. There, he chronicled six consecutive losing seasons, listening to tales of the Twins' glory days of 1987 and 1991 all the while.

    Miller is a past chairman of the Twin Cities' chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, and he also served on the BBWAA's national board of directors in 1998."
So, Miller has covered the Padres and Twins & has been immersed in BBWAA bureaucracy for many years. As I documented on this blog, his lifelong goal was to become a voter for post-season baseball awards--kind of a strange thing, wanting to exist just to judge others. Anyhow, after his years with the Padres, then getting lots of Yankee hate from Minnesota, what are the chances he's voted for Mariano Rivera on any of his supposedly unbiased ballots?
  • An excellent critique of Miller's latest column appears on highandtight.blogspot.com.

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Internet companies to pay AP, other outlets, for content

Google, Yahoo and other Internet companies have been quietly agreeing to deals that compensate news organizations for use of their content, reports Elise Ackerman. "Recently completed deals, which include arrangements in which media organizations such as the Associated Press will be compensated on a pay-per-click basis, could herald a major shift in the relationship between the old media and new Internet gatekeepers," she writes. (from Poynter.org)

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Akron Beacon-Journal's new owner to cut jobs

"Black Press president David Black said last week in Akron: "We've got to do something about costs as well as grow the revenue. The good news from everybody's point of view here is, [new Beacon Journal publisher] Ed [Moss] and I are builders. That's how I built my business. That's how Ed made his way in the industry. We're going to do that here." Black said it's likely building-wide job cuts will be part of the process. " (from poynter.org)
  • This newspaper was part of the McClatchy group. Hopefully, no one will lose their job, but be aware that even if Sheldon Ocker or any other BBWAA voter on staff there does leave, he'll retain his voting rights for baseball awards. We still don't know yet if the new ownership will even allow its employees to vote on baseball awards.

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Mariano Rivera Donates Cap from 400th Save to Baseball Hall of Fame

Yankee closer becomes first reliever to record 400 saves with one team

  • (The actual number at that time was 434, including 34 post season saves.)

July 25, 2006 | Jeff Idelson

COOPERSTOWN, NY): " On July 16, Mariano Rivera notched his 400th career save, as the Yankees beat the Chicago White Sox in Yankee Stadium, 6-4. In doing so, he became the fourth relief pitcher to amass 400 saves, joining all-time leader Lee Smith, along with Trevor Hoffman and John Franco.

Rivera has been a staple in the Yankee clubhouse since joining the team in 1995 and has been a part of four World Series championships. And with Rivera, the bigger the spotlight, the better he pitches: In 27 Division Series games, he is 2-0 with 15 saves and a 0.43 ERA (42IP, 2 ER, 29K). In 25 League Championship Series games he is 4-0 with an 0.93 ERA (38.2IP, 4ER, 29K) and in six World Series and 20 games, Rivera is 2-1 with a 1.16 ERA (31IP, 4ER, 29K). Oh yes, he's not allowed an earned run in six All-Star Game appearances, earning the save two weeks ago when the American League staged a ninth inning rally to win, 3-2.

Rivera donated his cap worn during his historic 400th save to the Hall of Fame three days after notching the milestone, and the Hall of Fame's Jeff Idelson traveled to Yankee Stadium to collect the donation from Rivera. While there, Idelson had a chance to ask the Yankee closer a few questions.

Thank you for donating your cap to the Hall of Fame from your 400th save. You're welcome, Jeff.

Who were your heroes growing up in Panama? My hero didn't even play baseball. It was Roberto Duran. He was my main guy. (Duran was a champion boxer who won WBC titles in lightweight, welterweight, light middleweight, middleweight, and junior middleweight divisions.)

How much did you know about the Yankees as a young boy? Not much. Just what I saw on television.

Which coaches helped you most along the way? Hoyt Wilhelm was one. He was my first coach. And Mark Shiflett was very good for me. He was terrific. Tony Cloninger was great too. He was the roving pitching coordinator for a while. Of course Mel Stottlemyre in the major leagues. Mel was the main guy.

Did Hoyt try to teach you the knuckleball? (Laughing)…. No!

Who taught you how to throw the cutter? God. That came from God. It just happened.

You pitched against Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley. Did you learn anything from watching him pitch? I talked with Dennis a little bit, but not too much. Watching him pitch, I liked his aggressiveness and how he went about his business.

You now have three important artifacts in the Hall of Fame: Your spikes from the 1999 World Series when you were MVP, your cap from the 2000 World Series, and now this cap. How do you feel about having these items in Cooperstown? It makes me feel special and grateful. I am thankful for my accomplishments. I am thankful to God, my family, my teammates and to everyone who supports me. It's really great to have those items in the Hall of Fame.

How does it feel to be part of a Yankee dynasty? It's the greatest. Every time I get to put the pinstripes on, it is nothing but the best.

What is the most important element to being a successful closer? Being able to be there every day for your team, being able to pitch and be successful doing it.

If you were not a major league pitcher today, what would you be doing? I like cars. I would be a mechanic.

Any significance to wearing #42? You are the last major leaguer allowed to wear it, since baseball retired it for Jackie Robinson in 1997. It's what Nick [Priore, Yankee clubhouse manager at the time] gave me. The first number I had was 58 when I made the major leagues in 1995. I was sent to Columbus during the season and when I came back, he gave me 42. I know the number was made famous by Jackie Robinson, and it's an honor to also wear it.

What are your thoughts about Bruce Sutter being elected to the Hall of Fame? I'm all for him. I think he deserves it. It's great that as a closer he as the opportunity to be there. He opened doors for us. Eckerlsey and now Sutter. It's great to have those guys there.

And maybe you'll be joining them in a few years. Hopefully. I have never been to Cooperstown.

Two players on the Hall of Fame ballot next year are Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn. Any memories of facing Ripken? What impressed me most about Ripken was how prepared he always was, and of course, the consecutive games streak. Every time I pitched to him, I wanted to make sure I did not hit him or even come close to hitting him. I didn't want to be the reason his consecutive games streak ended! I was so focused on that, plus I had so much respect for him and what he was doing for baseball. It was great. Ripken was like Gretzky in hockey or Michael Jordan in basketball. He was something special and I did not want to be the guy who shortened his career. I made sure I didn't give him anything too close to him!

How about Gwynn? Tony is also a guy who had great respect for the game. I didn't know too much about Tony, but watching him play in All-Star Games and seeing him in the World Series, I admired the way he went about his business. Having a chance to play against him in the '98 Series was tremendous, and I was proud to have the chance to face him."

  • FYI any ESPN types, Mariano was put on the spot about donating something of his own to the HOF on this occasion. The first instance I heard of this was by the very smug Jack Curry of the NY Times in the press interview immediately following the game. Curry, who has done his best to minimize Mariano (as I've documented) had the gall to say, "Mariano, are you going to give the game ball to the Hall of Fame?" The HOF is infested directly & indirectly with hoards of slime who've done their best, like Curry, to deny Mariano the recognition he long ago deserved. Nevertheless, Mariano politely answered he thought he'd keep the ball but might give them another article. This is for all those who might wonder about the origins of Mariano's very generous contribution.

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What Yogi said about the Hall of Fame weekend...

"It wouldn't be a Hall of Fame weekend without at least one Yogi-ism. As he came off the golf course Saturday in the midst of one of several thunderstorms to interrupt the weekend festivities, Yogi Berra asked Hall of Fame VP Jeff Idelson: "How come it rains every Hall of Fame weekend? They need to move it to a different weekend." " from Bill Madden, NY Daily News 7/31/06

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Note to Arod--Bruce Sutter was relentlessly booed, too...

Bruce Sutter didn't leave baseball the way he wanted, booed relentlessly when injuries sapped his talent. That doesn't matter anymore.

"I am in awe," said Sutter, who joined Hoyt Wilhelm, Rollie Fingers and Dennis Eckersley as the only relief pitchers in the Hall. "I wish I could turn back the clock and play one more game.

"When I got the call in January, it brought closure to a baseball career that did not end how I hoped it would," said Sutter, whose last four years in Atlanta were filled with taunts after rotator-cuff problems eventually forced him to retire with 300 saves after only 12 years in the major leagues. "It answered the question: 'Do you belong?' The thought of having my name in is truly an honour and humbling experience."

Sutter fought his emotions throughout his speech. "This day is about the people who helped me along the way. I would not be standing here without them," said Sutter, his familiar beard now turned grey. "My dad was never too tired to play catch. It was his temperament that rubbed off on me." AP Report by John Kekis

  • People that boo their own players are schmucks. Unless the guy's not running to 1B or things like that. sm

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

T-ball at the White House today---Willie Mays, Honorable Commissioner

Program Participants

Tee Ball Commissioner of the Game: Willie Mays, National Baseball Hall of Fame member; Former Major League Baseball Player Play-by-Play Announcer: Charlie Brotman, Former Announcer for the Washington Senators Baseball Team; Inaugural Announcer since President Eishenhower’s Inauguration Honorary First Base Coach: Al Leiter, Sports Announcer; Former Major League Baseball Player Honorary Third Base Coach: Dan Wilson, Former Major League Baseball Player National Anthem Singer: Nichola Kouzes, Colleyville, Texas Color Guard: Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital Game Ball Presenter: Kevin Turley, Seaton School, Washington, DC

And, Williamsport Online says George Bush is the first Little League player to become president.

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Karl Ravetch with ESPN Bully Pulpit desperate to confuse the "saves" issue

It is ESPN's and Karl Ravetch's main purpose in life in minimize Mariano Rivera. Just now in mentioning the Hall of Fame, they put up a graphic listing total career saves, & he booms that these guys should get consideration. Of course, he does this because this won't
  • Show Mariano's 34 post season saves, which are much harder to get.
And, everyone knows there are all kinds of "saves;" ESPN's favorite so-called closer never pitches more than 1 inning, for example, so his team has to have an another entire human being to do the job that Mariano's team knows he can be called upon to do anytime--go more than 1 inning. See, the west coast team is going for the "total saves" prize as a marketing vehicle, so they want to use their closer as little as possible. (I've heard this myself listening to the games). The guy is on record anyway saying he's only a 1 inning pitcher. That's just a little piece of reality that the very bitter Karl Ravetch doesn't want you to know.

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Bobby Abreu taken out of game

John Sterling on the Yankees radio broadcast mentions Abreu has been taken out of Phillies game --he was in the line-up but was pulled 10 minutes before the game. If he's going somewhere, I hope he enjoys it.

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"Make Room for 1 Mo," in the Hall--Jesse Spector

Today's inductee, Bruce Sutter, made only one postseason appearance, but he made the most of it in the 1982 World Series, coming into the seventh inning of Game 3 to bail the Cardinals out of a bases-loaded jam and earn a seven-out save.

In Game 7, Sutter entered in the eighth with a one-run lead. The six hitters who faced him made a combined 27 All-Star appearances in their careers, including Hall of Famers Paul Molitor and Robin Yount. None of the six so much as hit the ball out of the infield as Sutter sealed the title for St. Louis.

Maybe it's not fair, but John Franco, who ranks third all-time in saves with 424 - 124 more than Sutter - never had a similar moment, because he was never the closer for a playoff team. Closers make their reputations - and, thusly, their Hall of Fame candidacies - on how they deal with pressure.

Dennis Eckersley saved all four games of Oakland's sweep of the Red Sox in the 1988 ALCS, but gave up Kirk Gibson's homer in Game 1 of the World Series for his most famous failure. Given the chance to rebound, Eckersley did - over the rest of his career, he had a 1.96 playoff ERA.

Lee Smith, Eckersley's teammate with the 1984 Cubs and the all-time saves leader, didn't make the most of his opportunity for redemption. After giving up the two-run homer to Steve Garvey that beat the Cubs in Game 4 of the '84 NLCS, Smith made his only other postseason appearance opposing Eckersley's A's in the '88 ALCS. Smith, a seven-time All-Star and three-time Rolaids Relief Man lost Game 2 and let Oakland score two insurance runs in the clinching Game 4. He never made it back to the playoffs, and has never appeared on more than 45% of the ballots for the Hall of Fame, which requires 75% to get in.

At least Smith has gotten some consideration. John Wetteland, Rick Aguilera and Doug Jones - Nos. 9, 13 and 19 on the career saves list - received a combined nine votes for the Hall, and none will be included on the next ballot.

Wetteland, the 1996 World Series MVP, probably deserved better. But there are a few things that played against Wetteland as a candidate for Cooperstown, starting with the fact that he retired at the relatively early age of 34. Also, as a one-inning closer rather than a true fireman, he should be held to a higher standard, and Wetteland had a well-deserved reputation for making games interesting. Of the players in the top 10 all-time in saves, only Eckersley gave up home runs to a higher percentage of the hitters he faced. Keep in mind, though, that Eckersley spent half of his career as a starting pitcher - one who had eight seasons in which he served up 20-plus homers.

That homer rate might be something Billy Wagner should think about as he climbs up the save charts - Wagner has allowed homers to 2.34% of the hitters he's faced in his career. Wetteland's figure was 2.32%. Wagner will also want to improve on an unsightly 7.71 postseason ERA.

Including Wagner, there are seven active pitchers who rank in the top 25 all-time in saves, and it's too early to talk about young closers, such as the Angels' Francisco Rodriguez, without a career's worth of closing to shape a case for induction to the Hall.

Wagner (No. 17) still has a chance to build on his candidacy - Roberto Hernandez (No. 10), Jose Mesa (No. 12) and Todd Jones (No. 24) are all at the tail end of their careers and would be shocking faces to see on Hall of Fame plaques.

The man with the 22nd-most saves in major league history, Armando Benitez, also is a lock for getting in - during visiting hours. The only pitchers in history with 100 saves and more walks per nine innings than Benitez are Mitch Williams and Ted Abernathy. Benitez and Williams are both best known for blown saves in the World Series - Benitez's flop in Game 1 in 2000 began with a memorable walk to Paul O'Neill, while the homer that Joe Carter hit off Williams to win the 1993 Fall Classic came three batters after a leadoff walk to Rickey Henderson.

Of the batters Benitez has faced in his career, 11.42% have drawn unintentional walks, easily the highest total of anyone in the top 25 in saves. Sutter, by comparison, issued unintentional walks to just 5.32% of the batters he faced, setting the stage for far fewer meltdowns.

Trevor Hoffman, No. 2 on the all-time saves list, should be an interesting case for Cooperstown voters. He's been to five All-Star Games, but notably blew the save in Pittsburgh earlier this month. Hoffman has had seven seasons of 40-plus saves, and of the top 25 all-time savers, only Wagner, Benitez and Troy Percival have struck out a higher percentage of the batters they've faced than Hoffman, who's based his whole career on a superb changeup, rather than the blazing fastball preferred by most of his peers. But his most memorable postseason moment was giving up a three-run homer to Scott Brosius to blow the save in Game 3 of the 1998 World Series. That might cost Hoffman some votes when he hits the ballot.

Then there's the guy who holds the major league record with nine World Series saves, the one who established a record of 33 consecutive scoreless innings in the postseason. Mariano Rivera has had some memorable blown saves, but he also has posted an 0.81 ERA in 72 postseason games, spanning 117-2/3 innings. The last true fireman in baseball, Rivera is the only closer in the game today who is a lock to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. By Jesse Spector, NY Daily News, July 30, 2006

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From APSE, June 2006

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Something is fishy with "hedge fund activists" trying to take over Topps Baseball Cards

A bitter proxy contest between the Topps Company, the maker of baseball cards, and two activist hedge funds neared a peaceful resolution yesterday as both sides agreed to a last-minute compromise on candidates for the board.

The agreement came after two hours of negotiations that had delayed the company’s annual shareholder meeting and a vote on two rival slates for three seats on the board.

Under the settlement between Topps and the two hedge funds, Pembridge Capital Management and Crescendo Partners, the company’s board will grow to 10 from 9. Topps’s longtime chairman and chief executive, Arthur T. Shorin, will remain a director candidate. But two other management candidates will drop out, clearing the way for the dissidents’ three nominees. A vote on the board candidates will be held Aug. 25.

The settlement means the end of a yearlong battle waged by Timothy E. Brog, the manager of the $25 million Pembridge fund, to force change at the 86-year-old company, which also makes Bazooka chewing gum. (NY Times)

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Chien-Ming Wang---not too many ground balls turn into home runs...

Chien-Ming Wang doing his ground-ball magic again tonight with a complete game shut-out,
  • 18 ground-outs.
  • BF 30
  • #P 104
You won't see this on espn though. He doesn't gesticulate violently, or pump his fist while turning to face the tv camera. The obvious: If you rely on espn, you'll be uninformed. P.S. You'll hear Matsui is swinging the bat, soon will be back etc. LIE. He's swinging a small bat WITH ONE ARM. YES Network misses the video of Bernie's curtain call for his HR. (Gives us 2 seconds after the cameras have left the field & gone into commercial-thanks a bunch).

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Why does Foxsports.com lie about the Yankees? DESPERATION

FOXSPORTS.COM SAYS: "If the MLB season ended today, it would mark the first time in 10 years that the Braves and Yankees were both missing from the postseason, which wouldn't exactly be the end of the world. But Michael Rosenberg says he's not counting them out just yet. (Full Story follows)" THIS IS THE LEAD STORY ON FOXSPORTS.COM/MLB, 3:16am EASTERN TIME JULY 28, 2006. THE YANKEES WOULD BE IN THE POST SEASON IF IT ENDED TODAY, AS THEY ARE #1 IN THE AMERICAN LEAGUE WILD CARD. THIS PROVES BIAS AND LIES OF THE SO-CALLED MAINSTREAM BASEBALL MEDIA.
  • And what a surprise--the lowlife who writes this LIE is from the Detroit Free Press, so of course is totally on board with pushing hate & envy of the Yankees. And he uses words another well-known writer uses to get attention: "silly" and "Derek Jeter."

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Klapisch sinking fast--his July 25 column at ESPN.com shows him fighting to please the baseball mafia

Going for the cash & prizes of the baseball media mafia including ESPN, he tried to fill up space by creating a big war here where none exists. He starts out being accurate about the Yankees, but later thinks better of it, reverting to standard hate form.
  • "The Yankees? Like the finished product on "Extreme Makeover," you can hardly recognize them. This former team-without-a-plan now refuses to trade Philip Hughes, the Double-A star who some scouts liken to a future John Smoltz. In fact, the Yankees won't even consider promoting the 20-year-old right-hander to Triple-A. Instead, Cashman is leaning on a group of Lilliputians (Nick Green, Aaron Guiel and Melky Cabrera) as the bridge to Hideki Matsui, Gary Sheffield and Robinson Cano, all of whom are on the disabled list."

So, he admits the obvious, that the Yankees are different from that around which baiters could dupe the uninformed into hate and envy. But, he later panics, remembering his meal ticket is getting people to hate anything involving the Yankees:
  • "...the Mets, in Minaya's words, "are doing what the Yankees did in the mid-'90s, trying to start something and keep it going."

    That means creating a blend of veterans and younger players who, so far, have crushed the National League in a down year. Cashman praises the Mets for seizing the opportunity, saying, "They're definitely going for it all this year."

Klapisch sees a phony hook--Cashman simply says the Mets are doing what they're supposed to do, but Bob turns it into a negative accusation, causing Omar Minaya to demur...
  • "Not exactly, says Minaya.

    "If that were the case, I would've traded [Lastings] Milledge for [Barry] Zito by now," Minaya says. Contrary to a popular rumor, the Mets have no plans to deal Milledge or Aaron Heilman for Zito or Abreu or anyone else."
So, far, we've learned nothing. Then he says:
  • "But Minaya speaks for the rest of the baseball community when he says, "If this was a year or so ago, the Yankees would've traded one or two of their prospects for a guy who's about to become a free agent.

    "The Yankees are doing things they've never done. They're going with their kids, and I praise Brian for that.""

So, we're hearing further substantiation that the Yankees have changed. Then he comes up with this non-sequiter:
  • "The diplomatic thaw between the Mets and Yankees won't mean much this winter when they go head-to-head in bidding for Zito as a free agent."
Klapisch is telling us 4 things: 1). His thesis of trying to say there's a new big, contentious competition between the 2 is down the drain. 2). That he, Klapisch, knows after just telling us the Yankees have completely changed their philosophy of going after over-priced stars who've peaked or are about to, that he was really lying. As a member of the baseball mafia, he has to get back to getting you to hate the Yankees. 3). That he, Klapisch, knows the Mets will go after what will be an over-priced pitcher. 4). That either team will get into a bidding war with a new Scott Boras client--he wants you to forget the Yankees turned down an 11th hour offer from Boras for his client Carlos Beltran AT A REDUCED PRICE. Contradicting himself again, he says in referring to the failed 1 year experiment with Octavio Dotel:
  • "The Yankees, as always, were less concerned about the money than the short-term boost to their bullpen, although Dotel suffered his third setback during a rehab start in Double-A Trenton Wednesday, complaining of pain in his triceps."
Klapisch feels the pressure from ESPN & MLB to bash the Yankees about money, forgetting he just told us they "extremely" changed their ways in that regard. By the way, Bob, the Yankee fan paid over $100 million in luxury tax and revenue sharing this year--where exactly did that go? How many Yankee fans can no longer afford to take their family to a game? He concludes this mess by telling us this whole article was a joke, a waste of time, because Zito likes California and will probably prefer the Dodgers.
  • "...although neither Cashman nor Minaya will be able to match the Dodgers' hometown appeal to Zito. Either way, it'll make an interesting arm-wrestle between the two GMs."
Either what way? Where have you proven Zito and any of his baggage are being considered by either team, & if Zito likes the Dodgers, where's the conflict? Klapisch is proving again to be a duplicitous waste of time.

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Can anybody sign Zito with Boras as his agent?

"Even though the A's share first place in the AL West, Beane knows he can't re-sign Zito. Problem is, nobody else can either now that he's taken on Scott Boras as his agent."
  • Bill Madden, NY Daily News 7/27/06

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Harold told USA Today it was philosophical differences, not sexual harassment. Bob Raissman, as usual, has the story. "While responding to inquires concerning his demise at ESPN, Harold Reynolds presented a variety of answers, which only led to more questions.

Questions that will follow him for quite awhile.

Reynolds told the New York Post he wanted his job back, explaining he was fired for "giving a woman a hug" that he felt was "misinterpreted."

But Reynolds told USA Today he was ousted because: "They (ESPN suits) made a decision to have a change in direction. I respect their decision, but I don't necessarily agree with it." Reynolds added he already was considering several job offers while his attorney was working on a financial settlement with ESPN. This would seem to indicate he either does not want his ESPN job back or already knows ESPN won't take him back.

When I asked Reynolds what happened, he said something about a difference "in philosophy" that he might talk about in a "couple of" days. "Don't press me," he said. "I'm a nice guy."

That's not really the issue here. Until someone offers concrete proof, Reynolds' ultimate transgression will be open to speculation. This is bad news for him. It's also bad for anyone who values the truth. And it has everything to do with the way ESPN brass chose to handle this situation.

By offering no reason for firing Reynolds, ESPN suits released a torrent of rumors. They also provided cover for Reynolds, allowing him to provide different answers to what likely were the same questions. Reynolds, a former major leaguer, certainly knows how to cover all the bases.

It's not surprising that people looking for answers would start asking questions about sexual harassment. It is no secret that over the years, ESPN has had its share of problems with that issue. Some consider ESPN a haven for men who behave badly. After all, when two ESPN Radio hosts gleefully talk on the air about one urinating on the other's shoes, what do you think goes on off-air at ESPN?

One only has to read Michael Freeman's book, "ESPN: The Uncensored History," to get some of the sordid details of incidents that have taken place at the all-sports cable network.

So, when reports of Reynolds' firing surfaced, it was no shock that ESPN suits elected to stonewall. They have done it before. They have reasons for their silent treatment. An ESPN executive might ask a reporter that if someone at "your newspaper" gets fired, would it publish a story about why it happened? Or would your boss offer the media a reason for a particular dismissal?

This rationale fails to take into account that unlike your average newspaper reporter, Reynolds, like other high profile ESPN talent, is a celebrity. ESPN is a national TV network that goes into 90 million homes. When someone is suddenly fired, those who watch the network want to know why. They care about a guy like Reynolds.

Someone at ESPN also might tell you there are legal issues to consider. Or how there is no need, after someone is fired, to ruin his or her chances of ever getting another gig by releasing the gory details.

In some respects this is admirable. Still, like it has in the past, the policy allows some deviant who has preyed on a woman to move to another network and do it again. Maybe shedding light on one of these incidents could stop another from happening.

There is some irony - and duplicity - in this whole Reynolds situation. There has been no shortage of ESPN broadcasters who, at times, have called on owners, league commissioners or players to engage in full disclosure. And yet, when an incident like the Reynolds thing goes down at ESPN, the suits don't take the advice of their own commentators whose opinions are constantly hyped by ESPN's PR machine.

On ESPN, and ESPN Radio, the fact that Reynolds is gonzo has been reported, but you have not heard any commentary concerning his sudden exit. If a personality from another network was dumped, with no reason attached, ESPN would be all over it.

So, there also is some hypocrisy in ESPN's stance. This does not matter to the Bristol suits. And it won't matter the next time a similar situation presents itself.

For when it comes to cleaning up a messy situation, the light truth provides is a hindrance.

At ESPN, darkness is the detergent of choice." 7/27/06

  • My suggestion: Get rid of every last guy or gal they have on the air. Run highlights. Nothing else. Starting today.

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Quote of the day by Sal Fasano

The quote of the day came from new catcher Sal Fasano ,who joined his seventh major league team in six years:
  • “You’re just an animal sometimes, and you go from zoo to zoo.”
NY Times, 7/27/06, by Tyler Kepner

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Jack Curry must be pitching a job at ESPN or MLB--dumps on Yanks

NY Times Jack Curry is revolted and delighted--he's given space to write a long article but assumes we all forgot what happened to US pitchers in the WBC. His breathless, dramatic opening salvo: Philip Hughes should sacrifice his life and career--mainly because he's the only pitching prospect in the Yankee system--to Bob Watson and HIS team. Curry believes the US/MLB team manager is actually in charge of Phillip Hughes--not Hughes himself of course, and certainly not his family, his team mates or his employer. (Is Curry going to pay all the expenses associated with the loss of a team's #1 prospect should that occur?) Curry is so immersed with the anti-Yankee crowd he can't see straight. He's back on the note that they're of course un-American, selfish pigs for not giving him up for the US National team. Farther down the page, Jack notes Brian Cashman says the Yankees were never even asked about Philip Hughes. Curry weaves some snide remarks from Bob Watson into his ragout, trying to build some more intrigue there.
  • Hey, Curry, pitchers are dropping like flies all over the league, or are you too busy pitching a job at ESPN or just trying to be one of their cabal--to notice.
  • Jack--it seems MLB has got your number--they got you to pretend the WBC never happened, & millions of dollars of pitching talent was ripped from its fans without comment or compensation.
  • Hey, Jack, why don't you just break Phillip Hughes' arms so he can't pitch at all--but then, what would you write your pandering, elitist articles about?
I hope Brian Cashman doesn't fall for this simpering garbage.

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Split Screen with stats & more camera angles offered on YES DirecTV regional telecasts---NY Times

Fans who watch the Yankees locally on the YES Network on DirecTV can now push buttons on their remotes to call to their screens the in-game box score, scores of other games (with Boston’s always first), player statistics, standings, major league leaders and the players coming up next in the lineup.

They'll also get one more feature to the YES Interactive venture: a camera dedicated to showing the second-best angle on a particular play. When requested, it will be shown in a split screen.

BonusCam, as the secondary camera is called, is largely at the mercy of the camera operator’s ability to determine quickly throughout the game what the second-most-relevant angle to a play will be. It might be the reaction in the dugout to a home run while the batter trots around the bases, or a player arguing a called third strike while a pitch sequence is being shown.

BonusCam will be available only during home games.

YES has been looking to add interactive elements to its Yankees broadcasts for a year, reasoning that viewers’ craving for information and statistics during games would be satisfied with the right type of service.

“What defines our product is its stickiness, the way people watch the Yankees and care intensely,” Tracy Dolgin, chief executive of YES, said yesterday. “This takes it to a whole new level.”

He said the service, which is free for DirecTV customers, will eventually provide additional advertising revenue. YES has been aggressively selling many elements of its Yankees and Nets games to sponsors, and the interactive addition will receive similar treatment.

DirecTV subscribers in the Yankees’ regional market are the only ones who can get the interactive service. Viewers have seen YES Interactive being tested during home games since the All-Star Game. So far, a third of DirecTV subscribers who get YES have used the service, with 25 percent of those using it at least 11 times a game.

YES is the first regional sports network in the country to add DirecTV’s interactive service (which uses statistical information provided by M.L.B. Advanced Media, which owns MLB.com). DirecTV will not provide it to any other sports networks this year. A spokesman for SportsNet New York, the Mets’ four-month-old channel, said the network was interested but not until next year.

And because DirecTV does not have an exclusive hold on the service — as it does on NFL Sunday Ticket — cable operators will be able to offer it.

by Richard Sandomir, NY Times July 26, 2006

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

If Empty Suit Steve Phillips is what ESPN has to offer

Note to ESPN advertisers: run like hell for the door. This shows you the mentality of people in broadcasting today, to be pushing Phillips who's never said 1 interesting word, never told me anything I didn't already know, has nothing to offer.
  • How many years can you listen to his speech patterns to begin with? Instead of committing himself on anything, he says: "Uh hink (for I think);" "I sense that," and in between those to fill up space says "eeeeeyyaaand," instead of "and."
This man has never had a thing to offer, ever. And now he's front and center on the abysmal ESPN. What a tragedy for sports fans.

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Steve Phillips urged Mets to dump Jose Reyes last year--Raissman

NY Daily News' Bob Raissman sums up his report on Steve Phillips' camera angle that Yanks should get rid of Arod by reminding us that Phillips' managerial tips included telling the Mets to dump Jose Reyes. "The longer he continues to push for an A-Rod trade, the more recognition Phillips gets as a TV personality. This will help to further distance him from his halcyon days of Mo Vaughn and Roger Cedeño.

On Sunday's edition of "Baseball Tonight," Phillips was at it again. It only takes a blink of an eye, and the letter "A" rolling out of someone's mouth, to set him off.

Phillips was so persuasive, his colleague Harold Reynolds agreed A-Rod should be moved. John Kruk dissented. Reynolds and Kruk argued. This was wonderful TV inspired by Phillips.

Still, there is a bigger issue here. Former athletes, coaches and even general managers go into broadcasting with different agendas. For guys like Bill Parcells, Pat Riley and now Lou Piniella, the goal is to avoid controversy. They purposely pull punches because they want to return to coaching or managing. They don't want to criticize players or coaches they eventually will have to deal with.

Phillips does not have that problem. His candid commentary reveals a man whose immediate and distant future is in television. And yet, Phillips does carry baggage - his past. In a business where perception is reality, the intensity and frequency with which he has called for A-Rod to be traded is evidence enough to suggest this is all personal and not just a controversial piece of analysis.

Turn the clock back to 2000, when the Mets made a wee bit of noise about wanting to sign Rodriguez, then a free agent. It was Phillips who said that in order to sign with the Mets, Rodriguez wanted billboards, an office suite, a chartered jet, a merchandising tent and a separate PR staff."

  • He points out Phillips said Arod would make a team "24+1," and a bad deal, & wonders if this one-note chorous of Steve's--in addition to getting him publicity he'd never get otherwise--is a way to say he really wasn't so stupid in not hiring Arod himself.
  • Then again, Raissman adds, Phillips urged the Mets to dump Jose Reyes.....
from Bob Raissman's column, NY Daily News 7/25/06

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Please no Soriano to the Yanks

I have vivid memories of Alfonso Soriano as a Yankee and especially in the post season. At one point in time, I adored him. Some all-knowing soothsayers pontificate the Yankees either want this guy or will end up with him. I say neither. They'd seen plenty of him well before they traded him out of the Bronx. Most soothsayers are bitter people who have to fill up space, so maybe that's it. But there's absolutely nothing about Soriano as a short term rental that would help the Yankee team, even if they got him for free. I cannot emphasize this enough.

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Cashman Says Arod Won't Be Traded--NY Times

ARLINGTON, Tex., July 24 — The idea that the Yankees must trade Alex Rodriguez is growing louder on television, talk radio, Internet chats and some newspaper columns. But there is one problem: For all of his struggles lately, Rodriguez is staying put.

“There’s a lot of runaway-train stuff,” Cashman said. “I’m looking to improve the club, and that’s not a way I can improve the club. It’s not something even being considered. He is not going anywhere, and that’s that. I can’t make it any clearer than that.”

Asked how he reacts to the notion of trading Rodriguez, Manager Joe Torre said he found it amusing.

“You have to laugh at it,” Torre said. “It’s been a non-issue. There’s never been any consideration that I’m aware of.”

After the game, Rodriguez was asked about the booing he receives at Yankee Stadium, which has become such an issue that the former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani talked about it on WFAN on Monday. Rodriguez emphasized the positive.

“I think Yankee fans are behind me,” he said. “I love Yankee fans. They’re very passionate. I also remember them cheering very loudly.”

He compared his recent struggles to those of Tiger Woods, who failed to make the cut at the United States Open last month but won the British Open on Sunday.

“People were throwing him under every bus, and he came back and won the British Open,” Rodriguez said. “Hopefully I can come back and shut people up.”

DAMON SCRATCHED Johnny Damon was a late scratch from Monday’s lineup after his back stiffened up while getting into a car to come to Ameriquest Field. Damon underwent treatment all game and said he could not have played.

By Tyler Kepner 7/24/06

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Chazz Palminteri to email A-rod

Chazz Palminteri called WFAN today & told Mike Francesa that he was going to send A-rod an email. Chazz' phone went dead at that point, & Mike said they'd get him back later in the show. Since A-rod has gotten 2 hits so far tonight, maybe Chazz' email helped out.

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MLB.com says BBWAA votes are entered into a computer

"Two people will check the votes by hand -- one member of the BBWAA and one from the Hall of Fame -- then that tally will be certified and logged into a computer by an objective Ernst & Young accountant."
  • From MLB.com article by Barry M. Bloom, 1/9/06, regarding votes for HOF, establishing that votes are stored on computer. Once on computer, they are probably available across state lines (ie., not just in the state of New York--Bloom says the votes are tabulated "at the New York offices of accounting firm Ernst & Young.")

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Peter Schmuck, Pres. of BBWAA, responds to my email

"That's not information I have at my fingertips, though it is not kept confidential. Those records are kept up in New York. Is there anything in particular I can answer for you? pete"
  • This is a change from what Jack O'Connell said in his email to me, in which he stated the information I sought was only available to BBWAA members.
Records are kept up in New York, according to Mr. Schmuck. That certainly narrows it down. I asked for the names and professional affiliations of the 2005 AL Cy Young voters.

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Rudy Giuliani to discuss A-rod with Mike Francesa in 2PM hour

Rudy Giuliani called WFAN to offer his thoughts on the A-rod situation. He will do so with Mike Francesa in a few minutes in the 2PM hour, 660AM on New York, and the Yes Network.

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At least Phil Mushnick has the honesty to publicize the "Saves" stat farce

'A save, on the other hand, makes no distinction between perfect and awful. A closer can strike out the side on nine pitches or allow two home runs, a triple and two walks - both worth a save.'
  • Phil's right--recently an AL closer gave up 2 homeruns and still got the 'save'
  • I wonder how Bartolo Colon deduced Mariano didn't win the AL Cy Young last year because he didn't have enough 'saves?' I mean, where would Bartolo have gotten that idea? Even Bill James & Rob Neyer had Mariano rated as clearly the #1 choice, & their computations took in quite a bit more than "number of regular season saves." I guess Colon must get his information from MLB, ESPN, or Fox.
Phil notes Tim McCarver & Joe Buck's discussion of whether Livan Hernandez had a 'quality start' & compares that to lack of quality in the "total saves" stat:

'Compare the two categories:

A quality start is awarded for a minimum of six innings pitched with three or fewer earned runs. Thus, the worst one can do for the day and be credited with a quality start is a 4.50 ERA. So a starter can't be credited with a quality start after being shelled.

Now which is the more ridiculous category, the save or the quality start? And what's wrong with trying to distinguish effective pitching despite a loss or a no-decision?

Yet, McCarver, who recites save totals as if they're indicators of jobs well done, dismisses quality starts as complete nonsense. Cashews, almonds and pistachios, we've all gone nuts.'

from the New York Post 7/24/06

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

AP Sports Editors open the door to 1 internet sports site

APSE bylaw changes approved
Story posted on July 1, 2006

APSE's executive committee approved three amendments to the organization's bylaws during this summer's convention in Las Vegas.

The most significant change involved allowing limited membership for general interest sports Internet sites. Another amendment added the region chairs' duties to the bylaws, and a third made technical changes to various passages in the bylaws.

Section 2(E) was revised to allow associate membership for "general interest sports Internet sites that apply generally accepted newsgathering practices and have a fulltime staff of no fewer than three people." The wording of the bylaw was designed to limit membership to those Internet sites that are covering sports on a day-to-day basis, more or less the way newspapers do. Dues for any such members will be set at the highest category – in other words, as if they were in the over 250,000 circulation category for newspapers.

Associate members cannot vote or hold elective office within the organization, but can serve on committees. All associate memberships must be approved individually by the executive committee.

After this bylaw was passed, the executive committee approved the first such membership for Yahoo! Sports (sports.yahoo.com).

from the APSE website 7/23/06

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Wind patterns confound at Rangers' ballpark--Bob Elliott notices

"The Rangers consulted with a Toronto-based engineering firm to determine if glassed-in premium seating behind home plate affected wind patterns at Ameriquest Field in Arlington, Tex. The verdict was that more testing is needed. The Rangers' front office apparently refuses to believe its baseball people, who swear the jet stream to right field has increased since the introduction of those seats for the high rollers in 1999."
  • There must be a few dozen stats guys on this case of jet stream factors.
Bob also notes:

"Unanswered questions...

Why does Gustavo Chacin, out with an injured left-elbow, continue to greet excited teammates by raising his left hand over his head to take high-fives from excited home run hitters when they enter the dugout? ... Where will Shea and Barry dine tonight? ... Why did MLB agree to an Olympic qualifier which begins in August and ends Sept. 6? Is a minor leaguer with hopes of a September callup supposed to surrender six days of major-league pay? "

Thanks to Bob Elliott, Toronto Sun 7/23/06

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My free advice for Arod

Arod, you seem to feel immersing yourself in the situation will help you, but the reverse is true. You need to detach. You don't need to give any interviews--just try it for a day. You don't need to take hours of extra practice. And, worst of all, Suzyn Waldman said today,
  • You listen to all the radio shows and read all the articles.
Who in God's name is advising you, Arod? This is crap that you're doing all this stuff. One thing is obvious: everything you've been doing hasn't worked. Why not try a different way?

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Why is Allan "Bud" Selig allowed to install his son-in-law as head of west coast MLB operations?

Isn't there a nepotism rule in MLB? Of course not. Selig and his relatives have jobs for life, answer to no one. JUST SPEND THE IDIOT YANKEE FAN'S MONEY from luxury tax and revenue sharing. Allan "Bud" has a home in Scottsdale, so he installed the offices in Phoenix...with his daughter's husband, Laurel Prieb, in charge of everything. Why isn't this stopped? Prieb notes it's a long way away from New York. Get the picture, Yankee fans?

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Arod commits error #18--Jaret Wright out of game, Shawn Chacon in

He can't find a fly ball hit by Vernon Wells which extends the at bat with Shawn Chacon. No error on that play. Wells eventually gets on base when Arod throws the ball away on a throw to first. A run scores. He looks the same--a funny look on his face, and loops his arm around like he's playing in the back yard. He clearly has the yips, and has to get off this team. Moral of the story: Nature seeks a balance. He's experiencing the results of getting too much money for a job he can't handle.

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Jack O'Connell of BBWAA replies to my email

I sent an email to Mr. O'Connell asking for the names of the 28 persons who voted for the 2005 AL Cy Young Award & their professional affiliations. Here is his reply: (July 21, 2006)
Ms. Mullen,
This information is available to BBWAA members only.
Jack O'Connell
I appreciate his prompt reply to my request, but I need this simple information. I've already asked the HOF & they said they have nothing to do with the Cy Young Award. For an award like this where such a small number of selected voters determines an immortal and often financial outcome, it is important to know the bio and resume of voters, their voting history, and bio and resume of the person who appointed them. The public also needs to know disciplinary history of voters, ie which voters have been admonished or penalized (such as temporary suspension of voting rights) and all details involved. If you claim you are the 'conscience' or 'guardian' of the game, that's nice, but who guards you (other than Bud Selig)?

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Sam Borden seems desperately seeking certain approval, dumps on Mo

In statements like this about last night's loss, Borden deflects blame from Arod:
  • 'As much attention as Rodriguez's gaffe earned, however, it wasn't necessarily the difference';
You blame Mo in your headline, using words like "smack" for what "victimized" him. And you use a euphemism for what really happened in the 6th, allowing an escape for Arod:
  • 'But the game suddenly swung toward the home team in the sixth, with A-Rod right in the middle of it.'
"The game swung?" No, Alex's actions swung the game. "Arod right in the middle of it?" No, you're being kind. How about using some of the kinds of negative words you save for Mo, like "stumbled, devastating, bobbled, threw wildly, causing his team to work its thin group of pitchers even harder in a depleted lineup." Borden's comments from today's NY Daily News and reprinted in newspapers around the country. (Maybe someone will notice).

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More Dumping on Yanks

Following Matsui’s injury the network airing most MLB games in Japan, said ratings for Yankees games “have dropped by as much as 25[%]” since he was placed on the disabled list.
  • No wonder all the news stories out today about when Matsui might possibly pick up a bat, etc.

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Nationals hire bunch to teach common courtesy to employees

This Washington Post writer tries to say a person's income & how badly the US has deprived them determines quite naturally their ability to be courteous. As is commonplace among elitist nut cases writing for the WaPo, he says this exemplifies the cultural divide. So, a person's parents can't simply raise them to be courteous? After the employees at RFK are trained, send the company up to the Bronx to train Yankee Stadium employees, some of the rudist I've ever run into anywhere. Problem is, the very rude employees are unsupervised, so you'd have to hire another company to follow up.

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NY TIMES--Loss Falls to Rivera; Blame Goes to Rodriguez

IF THIS WERE TREVOR OR KROD, OR ANY OTHER CLOSER,THERE WOULD BE NO HEADLINE--THE FIELDING ERRORS WOULD'VE BEEN THE NEWS. AND AS WAS DONE FOR KROD EARLIER THIS YEAR, A REPORT EVEN ALLOWED 'HE WAS BEGINNING HIS 2ND INNING OF WORK.' AS WAS MARIANO TONIGHT, BUT NO SUCH ALLOWANCE WAS GIVEN. AND NO 'BJ RYAN BLOWS SAVE.' Rodriguez wastes his pitchers' efforts, to the hysterical glee of the baseball monopoly. From Tyler Kepner's report in the NY Times: When Alex Rodriguez made three throwing errors on Monday, the Yankees won in spite of him. When he threw away a sure out at home plate at Rogers Center on Thursday, it mattered a lot more.

Rodriguez’s error changed the course of the Yankees’ game against the Blue Jays. It led to a four-run sixth inning off Mike Mussina, costing the Yankees a lead they had built against the Toronto ace Roy Halladay.

Though the Yankees tied the game off closer B. J. Ryan in the eighth inning, they walked off the field as 5-4 losers when Vernon Wells homered off Mariano Rivera in the 11th. It was the first homer Rivera has allowed in more than 11 months.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006



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Dear Diary, It looks like Arod has the yips

Arod appears unable to overcome his throwing problems, his errors being the clear cause of 2 Yankee losses this month (tonight's v Toronto and 2 weeks ago v Tampa Bay). He also caused the team to waste efforts of its pitching staff in a losing effort. With all the money and experts in the world at his disposal, he shows no sign of curing himself. If you've been around long enough to've seen Chuck Knoblauch, you know these things don't go away. More misleading media info--Erica Herskowitz on WFAN just did her little sports update, chirping that Mussina gave up fourrrrr runnnns in the 6th, making no mention of Arod's errors, & that all the runs were not charged to Mussina. Is it bias? Whatever it is, she obviously knows management won't care or doesn't exist. And of course Richard Neer dumps on Mariano, doesn't mention BJ Ryan's blown save or Arod's error. He did so while speaking to Sweeney Murti who's a complete dolt & doesn't attempt to clear up another calculated mass media distortion. Arod isn't a bad player, but you don't have to be a stats guy to know a team can't win a championship with a 3rd baseman with the yips. All the other teams are ecstatic now. Too bad they don't remember they also got $100 million of the Yankee fan's money in luxury tax and revenue sharing. Neer also says, "I'M JUST AFRAID AROD WILL TAKE THE BRUNT OF THIS LOSS." Why are you 'afraid' Richard? Do you have a book deal with him? Neer, you're as bad as the rest--your bias renders you unable to report on baseball events.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tom Hanks, Ron Howard, & Dennis Miller at Reds game tonight

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Actor Tom Hanks and two show business friends turned a rain delay into an event Wednesday.

Hanks, director Ron Howard and comedian Dennis Miller made Great American Ball Park their third stop on their hush-hush ballparks tour. A two-hour rain delay during the Reds-New York Mets game provided a chance to snap photos with fans and offer their opinions of the game.

Hanks sold peanuts and soft drinks at Oakland's ballpark as a youth, and the Athletics remain his favorite team. Howard is a Los Angeles Dodgers fan, while Miller prefers the Pirates.

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Why are these guys so desperate to get you to hate the Yankees or 1 of its players?

You don't care, but the daily lies to build hatred & envy continue. These people apparently aren't aware they won--they got the Yankee fan's money, over $100 million this year, but they don't ask on a daily basis what was done with the money.
  • Orestes Destrade on the morning show on XM is constantly mocked & diminished by Mark Patrick. Patrick has a deep, visceral hatred of the Yankees & Mariano Rivera. He came up with 1 stat the other day to make Mariano look like a loser. What was the comment by either Orestes or Buck Martinez?
    • Patrick would've cut them off, whined loudly. So what happens? A misleading stat is left out dramatically for public consumption by the management of the XM/ESPN partnership. It's impossible for the listening public to drop everything & check on the information they hear, so they often just accept it.
Orestes & especially Buck Martinez have a wealth in information to share, but Patrick won't allow it. In a small bit Orestes was allowed to say the other day, he knew he'd be spanked like a naughty boy if he didn't in discussing the upcoming trade deadline, say the Yankees would "obviously" do something.
  • He said "obviously" because Patrick would've dumped on Orestes and the Yankees if he hadn't. Patrick is so deeply prejudiced he's not even up to date. Last year mid season, the Yankees made no major moves, so it's by no means "obvious." If they signed a player for $10 million, they'd have to pay $ 4 million on top of that for luxury tax, but Patrick ignores this, & forgets it's the fans who really pay. Many fans & their children can't afford to go to a Yankee game, since they're required to pay for limo service for David Glass on top of the other expenses. The Yankees have a great deal of debt, probably aren't even operating at a profit--in fact definitely aren't according to various press accounts.
Dibs said on Monday or Tuesday that the Yankees "have an open check-book." When did that happen? How does he know this? Hatred blinds people. Last year Dibs said he was positive they'd make a huge move by the trading deadline, & when they didn't, he admitted he'd been wrong. Instead of remembering that, he wants to build hatred against the Yankees and certain of their players.

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Is Theo Epstein being paid for his endorsement of the MLB cellphone?

I see tonight a big photo on MLB.com of Theo Epstein talking on a cell phone, & the ad continues to try to convince you to buy the thing. The caption is, "Is Theo Epstein closing in on a deal, or just catching a live broadcast of the Red Sox?" I understand MLB likes the Red Sox & gives them very favorable publicity on their website, but do I have to see their GM hustling MLB hard goods?

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

NY Times' Jack Curry chokes & can't say Jim Thome's actual quote --same old Jack

Curry was on Charley Steiner's show yesterday for the NY segment of the show, one of several regional writers on each day. It was the last segment for the day, & Charley raised the topic of Mariano, appropriate because of recent events, plus 1 other reason--Charley has more first-hand knowledge of Rivera than everyone else at XM combined plus Curry & most other people. On the topic, Curry gives himself a slight plus by offering that Mo is still "under rated" to which Charley agrees. Since XM is a partner of ESPN, the golden rules must be followed at all times:
  • Never mention Mariano's name.
  • If someone in your presence does so, immediately change the subject.
  • At the very most, once a year someone can say VERY QUIETLY (which Curry did) that he's underrated--but don't give any substantiating data for God's sake.
  • If the absolute worst happens, & you must quote a superlative of an actual star American League hitter, MISQUOTE THE GUY SO IT DOESN'T SOUND AS GOOD.
Curry quoted Jim Thome saying Rivera's pitch was "unbelievable." Not true--Thome's actual words were "the single best pitch ever in the game." (Source AP) QUITE A DIFFERENCE, JACK. Gee, with ethical specimens like Jack Curry around, no wonder Mariano's under rated. Well done, Jack. Take a hike.

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San Diego Padres hold charity bake-sale--Trevor gets free cookies, but fans must pay

The closing billboard read by the Padres announcer at the end of the game last night was to the effect, "x# saves today and going for the all-time total in saves." So that's why Trevor was finally rehired this season by San Diego & why he refuses to pitch more than 1 inning in a game & hasn't for almost 2 years. The whole thing is just a cosmetic scheme--he does the absolute minimum amount of work required to get him a contrived record. How nice the team is in a position to offer a player this kind of favor while cheapening the efforts of other closers/late inning relievers who've already given their teams many more innings, more GF, more wins, and more "opportunities" converted.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Dear Charley Steiner, I'm counting on you to stand up against the nest of snakes

On your radio show today from 1-3P ET--hopefully you'll be there & not Chuck. Charley, you know the truth about Mariano having watched him every day for 3 regular seasons and 3 post seasons. But you came up against a million snakes, cutting you off if anything good was about to be said about Mo. I heard it over & over, stunningly, & documented it on this blog. They succeeded in silencing you, but you didn't need to let them. Don't do it Charley-- you're plenty good enough that you DON'T NEED TO SELL OUT TO THEM. And remember, it's 434 career saves--400 regular season, 34 post season.

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When Guillen was asked to define the significance of Rivera's 400 saves, he responded, "One word: Hall of Fame."

This from today's NY Times column by Jack Curry. Hey, Sam Borden I'll be looking for your next column putting Mo down--if it's like your last one, you'll start off by detailing what gave Rivera the "opportunity" to perform as he did--in other words, Mo was really lucky to've been given the gift of the "opportunity"--that's much more important for you to sell than the work he did. This has always been the main put-down of the ESPN/Disney blabbers. Why don't they harp on these perceived "opportunities" with the other so-called closers?
  • Also, Mariano is the fastest in history AL or NL to get to 400+ and the only AL pitcher to do so.

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Memo to Karl Ravetch & the rest of ESPN, Sheldon Ocker, Corey Brock, Fox Sports, Tracy Ringolsby & others in on the scheme

None of you play the game of baseball, but all of you have personal or political views causing you to try to keep Mariano Rivera from getting the recognition he deserves. It's your mission in life. If the most successful managers & hitters in the AL say Mariano is the best, but you DO NOT say that, who is obviously wrong by a mile? YOU guys are wrong.
  • Today from Ozzie Guillen: "On the field and off the field, Hall of Fame," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Young people should look up to him. He's the perfect player."
  • Today from Jim Thome: "For me, and I've said it, he has the single best pitch ever in the game," Chicago's Jim Thome said. (You guys have heard of him?)
  • May 6, 2006, Michael Young from the Ft. Worth Star Telegram: "Mo's the best closer ever by far."
I've documented other such superlatives about Rivera in this space, from people like J.P. Ricciardi, BJ Ryan, and others--people for whom every move from Mariano can make a difference in their lives. Unlike you guys who clearly have jobs that allow you to do and say whatever you want. Oh yes, also from the AP article today...
  • "The closer by which all closers will soon be judged, Rivera waved to a few fans and disappeared into the dugout, another victory safely secured for the New York Yankees."
I'm sorry if you can't get past the team he happens to work for, or if you're pals with guys who are just jealous, small and unsportsmanlike. But none of you should have jobs, in my opinion.

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Today Mariano earned his 400th regular season save-- a 6 out save entering in the 8th inning with 2 men on base, to add to his 34 post season saves. He induced 2 ground ball double plays, 1 in each inning. Of the many who'll minimize this to huge audiences is 1 of the Red Sox radio announcers. He just said it was Mo's 400th, but the only reason Gossage & Sutter didn't have more is because they pitched more than 1 inning--and here Mo has just pitched 2 innings, 6 outs inheriting 2 baserunners. Gee, the lies & misinformation about Mariano never end. He's anything but a 1 inning pitcher. And today's record came against the World Champion Chicago White Sox, whose MVP Jermaine Dye was struck out by Mariano to end the game.

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

No sweaty uniforms please--success for union at All Star game

Major League Baseball's All-Star game is supposed to be a breezy exhibition of the sport's brightest stars. It's also a place for baseball's corporate patrons to be wined, dined and reassured about the current state of the game.

But at this year's All-Star game in Pittsburgh, the party was crashed by a bull-headed group of about seventy activists determined to change the way the corporate game is played. The Pittsburgh Anti-Sweatshop Community Alliance (PASCA) held a spirited rally outside Tuesday's game at PNC Park followed by a march to Roberto Clemente Bridge.

For several years, PASCA has tried to get the Pirates to address the unfair working conditions in some factories where their apparel is produced. For several years they've been treated the way other National League teams treat the Pirates: like a doormat. But as the All-Star Game approached, PASCA's dogged work finally paid off.

A citywide debate was ignited when the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recognized PASCA's work in a recent editorial that asked, "Would you mind if that Pittsburgh Pirates shirt you bought last week was sewn by a fourteen-year-old girl in Bangladesh during her twelfth hour of labor in a factory that pays her in pocket change?"

Baseball's initial response was to go on the attack. In a letter to Pittsburgh activist Tim Stevens, Ethan Orlinsky, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Major League Baseball Properties, said MLB was "proud of the accomplishments of our licensees [who] provide gainful employment to tens of thousands of people, in all cases in what we understand to be full compliance with all applicable labor laws" and asserted that "statements criticizing Major League Baseball and MLBP's licensees for engaging 'sweatshop' labor are without merit."

Orlinsky demanded that PASCA supply concrete proof of sweatshop abuses. They were ready. Anti-sweatshop leaders responded in writing to even offering to help set-up a proper mechanism for monitoring and enforcement of labor rights.

Bjorn Claeson, Director of SweatFree Communities, a national network of anti-sweatshop organizers that includes PASCA, told us, "It's mind-boggling that someone representing Major League Baseball can make these claims at this day and age. They can listen to one of their own licensees, or probably several of their licensees, who are now publicly admitting to a series of chronic human rights violations."

Scott Nova, Executive Director of the Workers' Rights Consortium, which monitors the production of apparel for colleges and universities, also says that there's no longer a dispute about "the central fact that there continue to be substantial labor rights violations in the supply chains of major sports apparel brands."

Baseball finally blinked. Larry Silverman, VP and general counsel for the Pittsburgh Pirates wrote to PASCA promising to review the information and give it "proper attention and consideration...once the All-Star Game has concluded."

by Dave Zirin & Derek Tyner from The Nation 7/14/06

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Klapisch drinks the ESPN Kool-Aid--dumps on Mariano

Klapisch on Charley Steiner's show on XM today says the "Yankees have got to be more like the Red Sox," and here's his big example of what's wrong with the Yankees:
  • Klapisch says, "Look at their contract with Mariano Rivera compared to Papelbon's--the Red Sox are getting a pitcher of equal value but for much less money. " He then says the Yankees really must address situations like this.
Really, Bob. This is your example of what's wrong with the Yankees--Mariano. Of course, Charley Steiner has now been muzzled too. Having seen Rivera much more than any other talkers, he used to freely refer to Mariano's great performances, but he was constantly cut off and stifled as I've documented on this blog. He won't say a word now--he likes his job.
  • Keith Foulke hired to be Red Sox closer is making $7,750,000 this year. So you're saying the Yankees should make a deal like that?
  • Billy Wagner is making $10,500,000 this year for a post-season bound team.
  • BJ Ryan has a 5 year $47 million deal with the Blue Jays.
Bob, the Yankees are loaded with bad deals, but for you to single out the example of Mariano shows how very far you've fallen, how desperate you are for the cash and prizes of ESPN whose main goal as I've documented is to discredit Mariano Rivera. A 3rd grader with a calculator could tell you Rivera is clearly UNDERpaid & until this year had held the market down in his category. And, Bob, the next time you do a piece diminishing Mo and deliberately excluding his post season performances, we'll be reading you with scorn. Enjoy all that money you sold your soul for---and, you too Charley Steiner--they even shut you up.
  • Bob, equal this...963.4 IP, 111.2 of these in the most difficult post season
  • 72 post season games with a .81 ERA
  • 432 Saves, 34 of them in the post season
So, this is equal value to a rookie who's given up 2 homeruns in the past month. I even left out the All Star games.

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BJ Ryan says Mariano is "the best."--Toronto Globe & Mail

"Really, I feel like I've been kind of spoiled spending all my career in the AL East because it means I get to see this guy, what, 20 times a year," Ryan said of Rivera. "I don't mean to knock anyone else, because the fact is we don't get a lot of San Diego Padres games, so I don't get to see Trevor Hoffman as much as I should. But when you watch the best . . ."

Ryan let his voice trail off."

  • From the same Jeff Blair article, Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons calls Rivera, "the benchmark." "Guys are coming up, but to me, the fact that Rivera's been doing this for so long means that psychologically he has an edge over everybody," Gibbons said.
And, "Ryan says there's still really one closer who gets his attention when he's watching television," referring to Mariano. From The Globe & Mail, 7/12/06

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Yankee beat writer on board with minimizing Mo

What I heard Ozzie say after the All Star game: "This was my dream--ask my bench--to have a lead and have Mo on the mound!"
  • But this is how NY Daily News writer Sam Borden reported Ozzie's remarks:
    • "Ozzie Guillen said it had been one of his dreams to be able to call on Rivera in an important game,"
Borden pointedly says it was "one of" Guillen's dreams, not "my dream," which diffuses & minimizes feeling about Mariano. Then, Borden doesn't want you to know Guillen referred to the pitcher as "Mo," which would show some familiarity and affection, but instead just uses his last name, Rivera.
  • Borden clearly changes & diminishes Guillen's stated anticipation of the event, and
  • Borden doesn't want you to know the depth of Guillen's admiration and affection for Mariano, which can be inferred by his use of Rivera's nickname, Mo.
Borden adds a Guillen comment, this time in quotes:
  • "Now I know how Mr. Joe Torre feels when (Rivera's) on the mound."
He has ( ) parentheses around Rivera's name. Did Ozzie refer to him as 'Mo' again?
  • Why is Borden on-board with the baseball media machine's full time job of minimizing Mariano? It's bad enough when ESPN does it, but this guy is a "Yankee beat writer," & many people who don't know any better will just have been significantly misinformed yet again---sometimes subtly, but always intentionally--about Mariano Rivera.
These remarks refer to Borden's column in the NY Daily News, 7/11/06 and reprinted around the country.

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"Closer ties Eckersley?" I promise you, nobody watching Mariano Rivera tonight was thinking about Eckersley

"Closer ties Eckersley for all-time saves mark in All-Star Game." Who cares about him tonight? This is what a reporter from MLB.com comes up with-- maybe Eckersley and his media pals were thinking about this rather tangential stat, and it must have worked. Granted, the article mentioned Rivera's long Hall of Fame resume, but it could've explained more of his staggering achievements in the toughest, most grueling and totally different situations than other so-called closers have faced. Eckersley gave up way too many homeruns in his late inning relief appearances---there's no way you could put him in a 1 run game like tonight's. There never has and never will be another like Mariano. Many are jealous--starting with ESPN--who'd rather drink a gallon of Drano than give him the recognition he deserves.

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The N.Y. Times--Selig should remove All Star pitchers from teams before game--clubs "in no position to question him"

I see from Murray Chass' column today that you & I don't exist--except as people to be robbed.

Murray Chass shows the futility of caring about your team, because Selig owns your team, & HE'LL REMOVE ANY ALL STAR PITCHER FROM YOUR LINE-UP TO PLAY FOR HIS GAME. He met with his big political allies today, the crumbling BBWAA, where this subject was raised. Chass says clubs will "scream" but whatever Bud wants he gets. Obviously from you, Chass--he's got you totally snowed. Get this, Chass---they're not Selig's players--they're the fans' players. The fans pay all the salaries, & your cavalier, superior attitude shows why the BBWAA should be removed from baseball awards (the NYTimes already is). WHO IS GOING TO REIMBURSE THE TEAMS & FANS FOR THE LOSS OF THEIR MOST CRUCIAL PLAYER? CHASS, ARE YOU OFFERING TO PAY FOR THE REMOVAL OF THESE PLAYERS? From his column:

"Considering the importance Commissioner Bud Selig has placed on the All-Star Game, giving home-field advantage in the World Series to the champion of the league that wins the game, he was asked yesterday if it was time to institute a rule barring All-Star pitchers from pitching for their teams right before the game.

"It'’s something we ought to think about," Selig said. "“I believe that."” A moment later he added, "“Yes, we ought to seriously think about that and do it this winter."”

Selig will undoubtedly hear screams of protest from managers and general managers who believe the needs of the clubs should come before baseball'’s midseason exhibition spectacle. But Selig gets what Selig wants, and club officials will be in no position to question him if he issues such a directive.

Major League Baseball is flying high, and Selig is the pilot. Meeting with members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America yesterday, he rhapsodized about baseball'’s increasing popularity and noted that the game'’s revenue had risen from $1.2 billion in 1992 to what he said would be $5.2 billion this year."

  • MURRAY, YOU DIDN'T ASK ABOUT MLB'S $5.2 billion revenue? Does this mean they're going to pay back the $100 million they took from the Yankee fan's pocket this year? It doesn't sound like that bothers you.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

For the record--to the Boston Globe today re Papelbon

Their article opens saying the long Sunday night game (Red Sox-White Sox) continues to have fallout for Papelbon, in that he probably won't pitch in the all star game. That's not an accurate portrayal of the situation. Ozzie Guillen ANNOUNCED TO THE PRESS ON JULY 5 that Mariano would be his closer--way before the long game. Hate to confuse these people with the facts.

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Tom Gordon--pitching in the NL is easier

Easy deduction
Phillies closer Tom Gordon said his success in the NL can be attributed to the absence of a DH. ``It's just so much tougher to pitch around American League hitters," Gordon said. ``In the NL you can pitch around hitters to get to the No. 9 spot in the lineup when the pitcher hits. It makes a big difference." . .from the Boston Globe 7/11/06

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"Jonathan Papelbon and Bobby Jenks will be watching Mariano Rivera," OZZIE GUILLEN

Heard tonight on XM's replay of Ozzie Guillen's meeting with reporters today. He said, "Some of you have asked me about my closer." (which AP reported July 5 Ozzie saying Mariano would be his closer). "Jonathan Papelbon & Bobby Jenks will be watching MARIANO RIVERA, HE'S A HALL OF FAMER, HE'S EARNED THAT RIGHT." ESPN is in denial, has moved along. Dibs needs some smelling salts, but he'll recover--back to minimizing future Hall of Famer, Mariano. And those who know him say he's an even better human being than he is a pitcher.

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