Thursday, August 31, 2006

Pain Subsides When Rivera Is In the Game

"The Yankees finished their regular-season series against Detroit with five victories in seven games, losing only on June 1 and in the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader.

Both times, Rivera was being rested. That points to his obvious importance. Other Yankees contributed offensively, including Derek Jeter, who reached base four times, and Bobby Abreu, who had a double and a two-run single.

But mostly, the Yankees won because of Johnson — and Rivera, the sore-armed savior who finished up."

from Tyler Kepner's NY Times article, 8/31/06

  • The "elephant in the living room" is the AL MVP, Mariano Rivera. Kepner inserts an oblique reference to this idea from time to time, but in a way that won't ruffle feathers of the baseball media mafia. There's plenty of money in keeping Rivera from the recognition he deserves, but no money at all in telling the truth about him.
  • Therefore, the only people willing to tell the truth about Mariano are those without aspirations at ESPN or of being a BBWAA voter-- which ain't many.
And these liars will tell you how "rested" Mariano is. THEY DON'T TELL YOU HE LEADS THE MAJORS IN IP AMONG LATE INNING RELIEVERS, GF, ETC. There's no money in it, folks!

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"Who in the hell is gonna cover sports?" asks Akron reporter

Cleveland Scene As it was announced that a quarter of the Akron Beacon Journal newsroom would be let go, people ran to bathrooms, crying. "Others fled to a downtown bar to numb the news," writes Denise Grollmus. Veteran reporter and editor Dave Wilson decided it was time to get rid of his Knight Ridder coffee mug. He grabbed a driver, teed up the mug and swung. "It was like saying adios to that whole scenario," he says.

But Knight Ridder was the epitome of an old, lethargic company. "It became so bureaucratic," Wilson says. "There were too many committees, and committees always make bad choices."

One committee decided to put all the websites entirely under corporate control. Until recently, the Beacon newsroom had no input into what landed on Ohio.com.

From Poynter.org/Romenesko 8/31/06

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  • (Notice to Mel, etc: Rivera leads the majors in IP among late inning relievers (70). In his 58 games in 2006, he's gotten more than 3 outs in 17 of them. Please check your facts in future). ed.

"Mariano Rivera and Jason Giambi played in yesterday’s doubleheader, so their health status is not alarming to the Yankees. But the team was concerned enough about them to schedule magnetic resonance imaging exams.

Rivera has experienced inflammation in his right elbow and will have a precautionary M.R.I. on the elbow soon, perhaps today. He earned the save in the first game yesterday but did not pitch in the second.

After working two innings for a save on Aug. 20, Rivera did not pitch for six days, until another two-inning outing on Sunday. There was only one save opportunity in that stretch, and Rivera said yesterday that he felt good and that he had enjoyed the rest.

Asked if the innings add up this time of year, Rivera smiled and said, “They do, they do.”

Rivera showed no signs of fatigue on the field yesterday, when he threw 12 strikes among his 14 pitches and threw as hard as 95 miles an hour. He had his elbow in ice after the game, a standard practice for many pitchers.

After the second game, Manager Joe Torre did not mention the M.R.I. but stressed the need to monitor Rivera’s workload.

“I have to look at the big picture,” Torre said. “This game isn’t an October game. That’s when you throw the rules out the window. We’ve got to take as good care of him as we can because he’s like one of our regular players.”

Giambi had an M.R.I. on his left wrist between games of the doubleheader, after he went 1 for 3 with a sacrifice fly as the designated hitter in the opener. He missed a start Sunday in Anaheim because of cramping in his hands, and he has had his wrist wrapped lately.

The results of Giambi’s M.R.I. were not immediately available, and he started the second game as the D.H." by Tyler Kepner, New York Times, August 31, 2006

  • Why does Torre allow himself to be victimized into apologizing for not using Mariano for all 162 games? Those who hope and pray for Rivera's demise are leading this hunt. ed.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Nook Logan not batty but speedy--could be picked up on waivers

On the same day Andrew Miller arrived in the Detroit Tigers clubhouse, three months out of college, the Tigers announced they had designated outfielder Nook Logan for assignment to remove him from the 40-man major-league roster. While the move doesn’t end Logan’s Tiger career (he would be outrighted to a minor-league roster if he clears waivers), it does point out how far Logan has dropped in the Tigers’ estimation.

“He really has had a struggling year,” general manager Dave Dombrowski said Tuesday, before the Tigers’ game with New York was rained out. “He hasn’t had a vintage year.”

At the beginning of spring training, Logan was competing with Curtis Granderson for the starting job in center field. But Logan went 12-for-58 (.207), and was sent to Triple-A Toledo in the final days of spring training.

He hit just .185 at Toledo, and just .247 after a demotion to Double-A Erie. He also went on the disabled list twice.

Because of his speed, there’s a real chance Logan could get claimed on waivers. And then his Tiger career would be officially over.

By Danny Knobler from M Live (Michigan Live) 8/30/06

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Mel stepped in it today on Charley Steiner's show saying:
  • "John Smoltz told me that 1 inning pitched in October is like 2 innings pitched in the regular season."
Charley agrees, & being the only 1 on the station who'd bring up the obvious, he does. Charley says:
  • "That brings up again the remarkable performances of Mariano Rivera."
Antonen is horror struck and tries to change the subject:
Charley has started to catch on that every "writer" will dump on Mo, so he clarifies,
  • "But I mean you mentioned the post season pitching and that's what Rivera has done so much of."
Now, Antonen is desperate, so he throws out some lies:
  • "Well, Torre never uses him more than 60 or 70 innings so he's always well-rested. He's good and everything, but the Yankees have a lot of back-up for him. He IS RESTED." Emphasis his, with anger as well. And you think there's no bias? MEL, MARIANO LEADS THE MAJORS WITH 69.0 IP BY LATE INNING RELIEVERS. THE ONE WHO SHOULD GET A REST IS YOU.
Charley changes the subject. Why do you allow people like this to keep their jobs? Antonen has just said THE OPPOSITE of the truth. If anything, as anyone WHO'S NOT TOTALLY OBSESSED WITH THE YANKEES AND THEREFORE DETERMINED TO LIE ABOUT MARIANO knows, Rivera has typically been OVERUSED.
  • 2006 to date, with 69.0 IP, Rivera leads both leagues for late inning relievers (Mel, did you see Farnsworth the other day? Really great back-up).
  • 2005 regular season, Rivera had 78.1 IP.
  • 2004 regular season, 78.2 IP, 12.2 IP post season=91.1 IP total.
  • 2003 regular season, 70.2 IP.
  • 2002 -injured part of the year--only pitched 46.0 reg.--SEE 2001
  • 2001 96.2 IP, 80.2 regular season, 16.0 post season
  • 2000 regular season 75.2, post season 15.2= 91.1 IP total
  • 1999 regular season 69.0, post season 12.1= 81.1 total
RESTED, MEL? This is how he rested in bringing his team from behind to win the pennant in 2005, you moron:
LOOK IT UP, MEL, PRINT A FRONT PAGE APOLOGY AND RETRACTION. THE REASON YOU STILL HAVE A JOB AT ALL IS THAT BASEBALL FANS ARE TOO LAZY TO COMPLAIN ABOUT YOU. P.S. Enjoy your hallowed Baseball Writers awards voting--if it's not cancelled due to lack of ethics of people like you.

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Is your team's owner going to deliberately break his hand if he doesn't win the World Series?

"They lost the 1981 World Series, during which Mr. Steinbrenner broke his hand. (He said the injury came in a fight in an elevator with two fans who insulted the team, but his aggressors never materialized. Others suspected that he punched the elevator in frustration.)" from the NY Times, 7/23/06 by Ken Belson
  • I can't stop laughing at the thought of anyone getting into a fist fight with not 1 but 2 people while in a cramped elevator-- because someone "insulted" your team.

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Kevin Kennedy spoke to "Jonathan" over the weekend...

At the beginning of his show with Dibs today, Kevin mentioned he spoke over the weekend with "Jonathan," in case you were wondering. I don't think Fox had a game with them, so it must be part of their budding personal friendship. I'll keep you up-to-date with this if I don't puke first..

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Monday, August 28, 2006

L.A. Angels limiting ticket resales--must go through their website--tough for scalpers

"In an effort to sell more tickets directly to the fans who will use them, the Angels are cracking down on season-ticket accounts. With ticket demand at record levels, the Angels are taking aim at customers who buy season tickets then recoup their expense by selling the majority of those tickets at a profit. So, effective next season, customers cannot resell tickets to more than 20 games and must limit the resale price to three times face value. The Angels have received some complaints since announcing the policy in a letter last week, but marketing director Robert Alvarado said the restriction should not affect the majority of customers. The average customer resells tickets to nine games a season, a team study showed. "We have a few accounts who are treating their purchases as an investment, a money-maker, if you will," Alvarado said. "If they're putting the burden on me to ensure they get it for free, I've got a problem with that." The Angels also have barred customers from resale via any means other than the ticket exchange feature on the team website, where the team collects a fee for each transaction. Alvarado acknowledged the Angels aren't yet sure how to enforce that restriction, given the popularity of EBay and brokers, but he said the team would target significant numbers of sales. "Are we going after the occasional user? No," he said. In addition, the Angels are reviewing large accounts, asking customers to explain why they need so many tickets and how often they might use them all. The Angels might not renew some of those tickets, Alvarado said, in an effort to free seats for the 1,700 people on the waiting list for season tickets. And, he acknowledged, the Angels get no concession and parking revenue when seats are not used. The Angels sold a record 32,000 season tickets this year. They are on pace to set an attendance record for the fourth consecutive season. "We're trying to build the quality of the fan," Alvarado said." By Bill Shaikin, LA Times, 8/28/06

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Overheard on the White Sox-Twins broadcast today

Ed Farmer: So you were there in 1998 when Stump Merrill was there?
  • Chris Singleton: Yeah.
Ed Farmer: How did you get along with Stump?
  • Chris Singleton: Uh, Stump.
Ed Farmer: Oh, really? That was the Buck Showalter era there, right?
  • Chris Singleton: Well...
Ed Farmer: Isn't that the year they won the World Series, 1998?
  • Chris Singleton: Well, they won it in 1998 through 2000.
Ed Farmer: Sox leading 6-1......

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High and Tight tells tale of 1 closer who plays for a team (as opposed to others who play for awards)

A Tale of Two Torres & 1 Closer whose manager has never allowed him to pad his stats for an award


Torre said he doesn't expect to use eight-time All-Star closer Mariano Rivera for more than one inning in any game the rest of the way.
08/27/06: Rivera: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 K. It's kind of like when the crack addict says they want to give up crack. You know the crackhead means it when he says it but the next day it's hard to deny himself some delicious, delicious crack.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 4:36 PM 0 comments from Highandtight.blogspot.com *I changed the title from the original post--the original title ended with "Torres"

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

99% baseball radio guys have switched to shrill chirpiness

This obviously is someone's idea of a good thing, but they're all unlistenable except Joe Angel of the Orioles and one of the Pirates' guys, whose name I don't know. The worst are the Mets radio guys, ear-splitting high decibel shrieks every other syllable--I timed it. Someone thought this would make the game sound exciting or make the guys sound like they had a personality.
  • This is a foreground format to begin with. Most of us are listening very closely. You can't put on a voice that splits my eardrums--it's common sense. Mostly these guys are just listening to the sound of their own voice to begin with.
I figured out who Chris Singleton sounds like-- the White Sox junior partner to Ed Farmer...BEAVER CLEAVER! The halting, high-pitch delivery sounds like a little boy, and I've even heard him sneeze all over the booth.
  • Last night when Nick Punto hit a homerun, Ed said, "you can't tell me that ball he hit wasn't juiced," it has to be a different kind of ball than the others. "I'm saying that because it's Punto and it's his first homerun of the year." Farmer later says, "And nobody can tell me the balls they use at the All Star game aren't juiced, either." I'm not sure if he mentioned the home run derby and the game separately--he was speaking quickly and it was hard to tell. (Singleton of course said that made sense).
  • Tonight, Sandy Alomar Jr. hit his first homerun of the season (I looked it up and he hadn't had one with the Dodgers either). It was the 5th inning, and Ed Farmer had stepped out of the booth, so Chris Singleton was doing play by play. Singleton did not say the ball must've been juiced, but I waited for Farmer to come back to the booth to see what he said.
  • In the next half inning, Farmer did not say the Alomar homerun we just saw, his first of the season, was hit because the ball was juiced. I tuned in periodically after that--I can't listen to the ear-splitting screechiness--so I don't know if Farmer eventually passed judgment on the juiciness of the Alomar homerun.
Unrelated to this, I remember Ray Miller when manager of the Orioles several years back saying,"If I had Mariano Rivera, I'd be smart." Just remember that.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Little League makes millions, but how much goes to kids?

Little League is a Big League business and gets bigger each and every year, thanks to the increased national television coverage from ESPN and ABC, which has driven up not just rights fees but corporate sponsorships, stadium advertising and ancillary income.

Little League Baseball, Inc., a non-profit based in Williamsport, Pa., took in revenues of $19.2 million in 2005 according to the IRS, an increase of 26.4 percent from just four years prior.

LLB, Inc. spent $17.4 million last year and has over $62.6 million in cash reserves. CEO Stephen Keener drew over $225,000 last year in salary and retirement contributions according to tax records.

ESPN and ABC can’t get enough of the Little League, televising all 32 games of the baseball World Series, more than a dozen regional qualifying tournament games and three softball World Series games. What began in 1953 as a single televised championship game now dominates the networks’ August schedule.

The Little League World Series is so big business that its championship game will go by the name “Little League World Series: World Championship presented by Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes.”

Kellogg’s outbid all the other major corporate sponsors such as Bank of America, ReMax Real Estate, Ace Hardware and Snickers, to name a few, for the title game naming rights.

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Boston Newspaper Guild attacks Boston Globe parent & Yankees

From the Boston Herald, on the radio ad being run to blast contract proposal for Globe's Guild workers: "In the ad, the Boston Newspaper Guild attacks the Globe's parent, the New York Times Co., as an outsider that’s pushing an "unfair" labor contract. The ad says: "A lot of (Boston-based) companies know to treat workers with dignity and respect. That’s why it's disappointing that ... the Boston Globe and its corporate parent, The New York Times, are pushing an unfair contract with employees. Here in Boston we don't stand for greedy New York companies, or the Yankees." 8/24/06 from Poynter.org Link to Boston Herald article

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Why do media outlets like XM and WFAN allow on-air talent to lie about the Yankees?

Another story following reports within the past year from Forbes and the NY Daily News that the Yankees are losing money. Isn't it also dishonest of them not to ask what's being done with the $100 million the Yankee fan is paying out to other teams in revenue sharing and luxury tax? This article from Bloomberg discusses items from an interview with Brian Cashman. Richard Neer after all these years, comes in to do his show on WFAN and his big lead off again is 'the Yankees have more money than anyone else.' The management at WFAN has continued to allow this lazy and error-filled performance for years.

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Wondering why broadcast outlets like XM and WFAN allow on-air talent to lie about the Yankees

This Bloomberg story follows others within the past year from the NY Daily News and Forbes about how the Yankees are losing money.

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Sarasota's plan to pay for Cincinnati Reds spring stadium

Baseball and tourist taxes

A fair way to pay for a stadium--Editorial by the Sarasota Herald Tribune, 8/22/06

"Whether or not you agree with a proposal to build a new spring-training stadium in Sarasota, there's one point on which there should be consensus: If a community's going to have such a facility, tourist-tax revenues are a pretty fair way to help pay for it. There's a natural nexus between the tax and the benefits it provides. The tourism industry gains business from the baseball fans attracted by spring training, and the fans are among those paying the tax. Many Florida counties (such as Lee, Charlotte and Manatee, whose tourist taxes are all higher than Sarasota's) use part of theirs to support stadiums. Sarasota County should strongly consider doing so too. Today, advocates of a new stadium for Sarasota will ask the County Commission to begin preliminary steps to raise the tourist tax and devote part of it to a new facility. A final decision wouldn't be made until a public hearing is held, probably in September. The proposed tax hike calls for the tourist tax to rise to 4 percent, from today's 3 percent. Advisers recommend that the revenue from the added tax be split evenly between the stadium and tourism marketing. Though no tax increase is ever popular, this proposal has gained the acceptance of the Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau. The tax is crucial to a new, $54 million stadium. The state, the city of Sarasota, the Cincinnati Reds (who train here) and private investors also would share in the costs. If advocates can clearly establish a case for a new stadium -- something they need to work on, as aspects of the plan aren't well understood -- a tourist tax hike is a reasonable step."

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Akron Beacon Journal cuts 25% of newsroom staff

Beacon Journal cuts newsroom staff 4:21 p.m. (updated 5:02 p.m.) The Akron Beacon Journal today said it's laying off 40 people in its 161-person newsroom. Twenty-nine of those positions are full-time. Employees were given 60 days' notice and will receive severance pay amounting to one week's pay for every six months of service. A representative of the Newspaper Guild/Communications Workers of America, the newsroom union, said the list shows two artists, four photographers, eight copy editors, 11 reporters and four nonunion managers, as well as a librarian, three clerks and all seven student correspondents. That list includes pop music critic Malcolm X Abram and movie critic George Thomas. The Akron paper plans to announce more layoffs throughout the rest of the building, in departments such as accounting and circulation, in the next few weeks. The Beacon employs about 710 people. With the breakup of the Knight-Ridder newspaper group, the Beacon Journal was sold earlier this year to Black Press Ltd. from Poynter.org 5:02 PM 8/22/06

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Dave Newhouse, Oakland Tribune, resigns from BBWAA---puts card in mail

From Dave's August 16, 2006 column: Divorce from baseball tough, but the right move--- Column by Dave Newhouse BASEBALL WAS my first love affair, before girls,'56 Chevys, Paris, the fair Patsy Anne, children and Mendocino. I enjoy other sports, but baseball always will be the game closest to my heart. Thus it was with a sad heart Tuesday that I mailed my Baseball Writers' Association of America card back to Jack O'Connell, secretary-treasurer of the organization. I picked Tuesday after considerable thought, because Aug.15 is my father's birthday. Dad instilled my love for baseball as a boy by taking me to Pacific Coast League games in San Francisco and Oakland in the late 1940s. My father isn't alive, so I couldn't discuss with him the painful decision I've made, which is to remove myself permanently from voting on the Baseball Hall of Fame. Dad let me be my own man, so I hope he would approve. Electing members to Cooperstown, my responsibility for better than 20 years, has meant more to me than electing presidents. I've been involved with baseball longer, thus I felt my Hall of Fame vote made more of a difference. It doesn't any more because I no longer recognize the game I grew up with, idolizing Stan Musial and remembering significant moments — Jackie Robinson's educating baseball about civil rights, and Babe Ruth's dying.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

The usual biased treatment by media to change reality

Kevin Kennedy described the Red Sox pitcher's performance in outs 22-27 in Sunday night's Yankee-Red Sox game. He did so twice that I heard, & the same way each time. He said, the pitcher "just gave up a little bloop to Jeter." Kevin must be overworked, as he broadcasts inaccurate information.
  • First, this pitcher in the 8th inning gave up a long fly ball to Giambi that allowed the runner from 3rd to score, making the score 5-4 Red Sox. The run was unearned for this pitcher, but it was still a big run scored in a high stakes situation. Don't you remember the pounding Mariano Rivera received when he had a similar situation in an important game in 2004, that Rivera was done, obviously no longer effective, falling apart, average at best, etc. Yet, you speak glowingly of the Red Sox pitcher and ignore his allowing that big run to score.
  • Second, in the 9th inning, Papelbon gives up a big double--not a bloop--to Cabrera. He later threw a wild pitch, allowing Cabrera to go to third. That's pretty big, Kevin--he's got a runner at 3B all his own, and you don't mention it. Then he does give up the hit to Jeter to right field which allowed the runner at 3B to score and TIE THE GAME. 6th BLOWN SAVE FOR YOUR GUY. Don't you think it's possible opposing hitters might figure him out a little as time goes on? They've seen Mariano for 11 seasons and 11 post seasons, & he's still getting them out. BUT NOT ONE WORD FROM YOU ABOUT THAT TODAY. RIVERA PITCHED 2 INNINGS AND GOT THE WIN (I know you're busy but thought I'd let you know).
But, don't feel bad Kevin. Even the YES network studio announcer got it wrong in recapping the game before today's show. Everyone's in on the fix. Sam Borden of the Daily News did his usual passive-aggressive stab against Mo, and George King didn't really have the complete story either in the NY Post. (Update: 8/22--Kevin saying the same thing a day later, ie "just gave up a little bloop." This is false information. Ultimately, XM is responsible).

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

What happens if you're a relief pitcher & Torre loves you

"The joke around the Yankees sometimes is that the only thing worse than being on Torre's bad side if you're a relief pitcher is being on his good side. Before you know it, you're Paul Quantrill or Tanyon Sturtze and you have been loved to death." from Mike Lupica, NY Daily News today. He can add Steve Karsay to that list & Scott Proctor's looking good for it.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

I used to like Steve Stone

On the Texas-Detroit game on ESPN Thursday night, Stone sounded like he was pitching a job with Detroit. I couldn't count how many times he bellowed the owner's name & how smart he was. But the coup de gras was his enshrinement of Detroit's closer. These guys really need to get their notes together about closers--you see,
  • ESPN powerhouses Jayson Stark and Karl Ravetch have said countless times, "TOTAL SAVES DON'T COUNT--IT JUST MEANS THE GUY'S HAD MORE OPPORTUNITIES." I documented on this blog Jayson cutting off Charley Steiner when he mentioned the number of saves Mariano had--Stark put Mariano down & cut off any discussion by informing Charley 'he's had more opportunities.' Unfortunately, Charley didn't keep on his point. 100% of the time, radio & tv people are intimidated enough by this simple, empty & meaningless retort that they stop pursuing the conversation about Mariano. (Oddly, they've not objected to use of the stat in praising pitchers not named Mariano). The very loud bully Karl Ravetch would die before allowing a favorable discourse about Rivera to take place on his airwaves. (As would his bosses at ESPN & other New England locations).
Poor Steve Stone tried to say Todd Jones was the best by using the stat "total saves." God help me. He said Jones' ERA might not be too terrific and some of his saves don't look too pretty, but Stone says, "THEY SAY WHAT REALLY MATTERS IS TOTAL SAVES!" STEVE'S ESPN SIDE KICK AGREES. (STEVE, WHO IN GOD'S NAME IS 'THEY'?) What has gone wrong with ESPN?
  • Steve, hasn't Jayson or Karl told you Total Saves doesn't count? That it just shows "opportunitiesssss?"
  • Or is this just another example of total lack of accountability and professionalism by management at ESPN, The Monopoly?
Another formerly good guy, a guy who gave me some hope, has gone in the trash can with the rest of them. I trust Steve Stone will get the job he's seeking.

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The NY Times David Picker favors Arod--Jim Kaat saw something different

"With two outs in the top of the sixth, a runner on second, and the Orioles already ahead, 9-2, Jay Gibbons popped the ball up between Rodriguez and Jeter, but closer to Rodriguez. Rodriguez positioned himself under the ball, but it caromed off his glove as Jeter brushed into him in an effort to catch the ball himself." (8/17/06)
  • This from the NY Times--Picker is of course mistaken--Arod brushed in front of Jeter. (Maybe he owns some Arod memorabilia).
  • Steve Lombardi correctly suggests Arod be removed in close and late situations for defensive reasons.
  • You never know with the baseball media if they're skewing their reporting with an eye to a future book deal.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

The baseball monopoly of ESPN smells money & the Yankee fan keeps giving

Well, so far tonight, they've emphatically told you who the AL Manager of the year is. Then, they dump on the Yankees payroll WITHOUT MENTIONING THE $100 million the Yankee fan gives on top of that to other teams in revenue sharing and luxury tax.
  • The stupid Yankee fan never complains about the ESPN/MLB monopoly.

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President of BBWAA: "Late inning closer more valuable than starting pitcher."

..."the late-inning closer may be more valuable than any single starting pitcher." Says Peter Schmuck in his July 31, 2006 Baltimore Sun column. "Relief pitchers have largely been ignored by Hall of Fame voters and are grossly under-represented at Cooperstown. There was a time when relievers were considered second-tier pitchers, but in the era of bullpen specialization, the late-inning closer may be more valuable than any single starting pitcher. Hall of Fame voters have been slow to recognize that, though the recent elections of Dennis Eckersley and Sutter may be an indication of a growing appreciation of relief pitchers among voters." from his column.
And Mr. Schmuck says this group is the 'conscience' of baseball.

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Lazy Yankee fans sit back while media elites sell hate & sensationalism

The Foundation Of New Yankee Stadium
  • These headlines appear at Jock Report. The elites in power know these stories will be accepted by the masses. But, the Yankee fan hardly ever murders anyone, & can't even afford to take his family to a game, having had to pay $100 million to other teams in revenue sharing & luxury tax.

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Link to NY Times Jack Curry article I discuss below

Article in today's edition.

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NY Times' Jack Curry desperately pitching award worth millions for Red Sox, 8/17/06

For the 2nd time in recent weeks Jack Curry desperately uses the NY Times to get the post season AL MVP award to David Ortiz and the Red Sox. He states Ortiz 'is an MVP candidate.' How does Curry know this? As an employee of the NY Times, he's not even allowed to vote for baseball awards. In a long article, Curry is beside himself about David, showing him to be the solver of every problem imaginable whether in the clubhouse or on the field.
  • In Curry's usual smug, passive-aggressive manner, near the end of his love letter he lets the far-flung award voter know that the only possible other candidate might be Derek Jeter. Then he gives the voters a quick way to not vote for Jeter. He lists a few stats but cherry picks only those you'd look at if you wanted a middle of the line up DH--and I'm speaking about things that are on paper, not intangibles. He leaves out things like runs scored and of all things--he fails to mention Jeter's clutch hits!!! And "clutch" is his big selling point with Ortiz.
  • The case isn't what Curry is pitching, ie Ortiz v Jeter, but that baseball media are totally corrupt & must be removed from any influence in baseball awards.
P.S. The laziness of Yankee fans in allowing the media to get to this point is no small part of the problem.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

7 thrown out tonight in Arlington v Angels

7 were ejected tonight in Arlington vs Angels--2 managers, 1 coach, 3 pitchers, 1 2B-- EjectionsTexas Rangers pitcher Scott Feldman ejected by HP umpire Sam Holbrook. (9th); Los Angeles Angels Manager Mike Scioscia ejected by HP umpire Sam Holbrook. (8th); Los Angeles Angels Bench Coach Ron Roenicke ejected by HP umpire Sam Holbrook. (8th); Texas Rangers Manager Buck Showalter ejected by HP umpire Sam Holbrook. (9th); Los Angeles Angels pitcher Kevin Gregg ejected by HP umpire Sam Holbrook. (8th); Los Angeles Angels second baseman Adam Kennedy ejected by HP umpire Sam Holbrook. (9th); Los Angeles Angels pitcher Brendan Donnelly ejected by HP umpire Sam Holbrook. (8th).

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Chien-Ming Wang credits Neil Allen & Sal Fasano for his best pitch-NY Times

Interesting--maybe Billy Connors knew this article was coming out when he and Newsday reporter Jim Baumbach teamed up to write an article August 4th crediting Connors for Wang's success. However:

"Wang credits his sinker to Neil Allen, his pitching coach at Columbus in 2004, and Sal Fasano, who caught him then.

“He’s got that unique ability that whatever you teach him, he can throw with almost immediate success,” said Fasano, now the Yankees’ backup catcher. “But that’s why you have to be careful.”

In Columbus, Wang threw six pitches, which Fasano said he considered too many. Wang took to the sinker so quickly, Fasano said, that it made sense to master that pitch and throw it roughly 90 percent of the time.

The trick was not to throw it too hard. Wang can throw a four-seam fastball around 96 miles an hour. The sinker — or two-seamer — comes in two or three miles an hour slower, but has more movement.

When Wang threw 103 pitches in beating the Devil Rays on July 8, catcher Jorge Posada said he called only sinkers. But Ron Guidry, the pitching coach, said Wang also throws a changeup, slider and four-seam fastball." from NY Times, Tyler Kepner, 8/13/06

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Current tips on tipping pitches

Retired Toronto manager Cito Gaston was relaxing in his Florida home and watching a ballgame on television when he found himself shouting out Randy Johnson's pitches as the Big Unit was winding up. Call it force of habit. While leading the Blue Jays to World Series championships in 1992 and 1993, Gaston developed a reputation for being one of the most astute managers in the game at busting pitchers who were tipping their pitches. He happily shared his information with his own players and often received unsolicited information from opponents who, like Gaston, had made a hobby of studying the tendencies of the top hurlers in the game.

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ESPN voices now coached on interview skills

Now, every single editorial employee at ESPN is expected to attend a three-day seminar, where they encounter a lanky, slightly awkward 58-year-old man with little flash. In his efforts to illustrate what he considers the "seven deadly sins of interviewing," John Sawatsky methodically eviscerates the nation's most prominent television journalists. (From npr, All Things Considered, 8/14/06)

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Yankee fans don't deserve Mariano Rivera

Jeff Erickson has a great show, but like all shows, he has guests. Today's very talented guest was Greg Ambrosius, a long time fantasy leagues expert. The background information I found about him includes he's been associated with ESPN for 10 years, and also has a business relationship with MLB. So, that should've told me what was about to happen--and it did happen. Greg brings up post season BBWAA awards and eagerly states a pitcher not named Mariano Rivera qualifies for 2 of them--that's right. Jeff checks & confirms Greg's choice would indeed qualify for rookie status as only pitched a few innings last year. Jeff agrees with Greg's choice on the BBWAA ROY award & does not disagree with him about the second award. The baseball media creation continues with ESPN, FOX, and MLB rabidly on board. There's no one standing up for Mariano who's actually been the MVP for the past decade. Then, on WFAN, a guy calls Joe Benigno, introduces himself as a Yankee fan, then proceeded to lay on a weepy, detailed sales pitch for the Boston pitcher not named Mariano. There's an enormous campaign 24 hours a day everywhere you go--if nothing else, everyone is connected to ESPN, which is united in 1 goal--get awards for a pitcher not named Mariano. PS. No one will check on this but these weepers are all saying the non-Mariano has been used too much, but MARIANO HAS BEEN USED 3 INNINGS MORE--MO LEADS THE AL FOR LATE INNING RELIEVERS WITH 63 IP, ALSO LEADS IN 51 GF, and his conversion rate is 91% to the other guy's 86%.
      • There's no other conclusion to draw except the Yankee fans don't deserve Mariano, have allowed the media to disrespect Mariano for many years. Also, the YES network barely acknowledges him.

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"How to be a better sportstalk radio caller"

I find this article absolutely essential reading for any baseball fan. Boston Sports Media made great points: be very prepared with your subject & be prepared to correct or steer the host in the right direction. Most sportstalk radio is excruciatingly unlistenable, but like baseball, there's always hope.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Dodgers start Video on Demand channel for fans---BUD SAYS, NOT SO FAST

The Dodgers teamed up with their cable partner Time Warner offering all kinds of great video for the fans. But Bob DuPuy sent a memo to all MLB teams on Friday saying this violated the 2000 agreement with MLB.com. Someday everyone will find out what's been going on, but it'll be too late.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006


  • From Lupica's NY Daily News column today (8/13/06), "It's Time to Face the Truth," (part about Rivera begins mid-page):
"You watched Mo Rivera cough one up the other night as he does maybe once a month, and were reminded again that he might not just be the most valuable Yankee of the Joe Torre era,

He does not make the most money on the Yankees, or even close.

He is not the most famous of them.

Just the best of them, after all these years.

He is the one player on his team better at what he does than any others are at what they do.

Think about that.

He has had his failures, you bet.

Some of them turned out to be monumental, like Game 7 of the 2001 World Series and Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS against the Red Sox.

But more than the manager, more than Jeter, he has done the most to make this time in Yankee history special.

  • He is the one who makes us believe the championship teams of the Torre era were better than they actually were.

  • has been the most important.

Sometimes it takes a ninth inning belonging to the other guys to make you appreciate him all over again.

Mo Rivera can't go on forever.

His streak of power relief pitching, excellence in power relief pitching, is as impressive as Cal Ripken's consecutive games played streak."

  • I believe Mr. Lupica is a Red Sox fan. In any case, he knows much more about this subject than all the cheap frauds at ESPN, THE VAST NETWORK OF WRITERS FOR ESPN.COM, FOXsports.com, MLB, etc. I don't believe he's pitching assignments from any of these, unlike perhaps BOB KLAPISCH, SAM BORDEN, JACK CURRY, SHELDON OCKER, COREY BROCK, MATT HURST, JOE GROSS, ALL THE GUYS AT NEWSDAY AND THE NY POST, KEVIN KENNEDY, ROB DIBBLE, MARK PATRICK, TONY MASSAROTTI, DAN SHAUGHNESSY, et al.
AND, SPECIAL GREETINGS TO THE MOST UNINFORMED OF ALL***Peter Schmuck & Jack O'Connell. Honorable mention to***DAVE SHEININ***Dave, your words live on.
  • As Mr. Lupica knows along with anyone else who's been paying attention, YOU'LL NEVER SEE ANYONE LIKE THIS AGAIN IN HUMAN HISTORY. YOU GUYS WOULD RATHER DIE THAN ADMIT THAT TRUTH--YET YOU'VE SAID YOU'RE THE MORAL GUARDIAN OF MLB....Try another one, Pete.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Kevin Kennedy & Fox Sports seek to be buddies with Red Sox

Fox TV added millions of dollars of additional publicity today to their huge campaign to win post season awards for anyone not named Mariano. I thought Kevin Kennedy was going to swoon in his pre-game interview on TV today with the player not named Mariano. The guy's team wasn't even the Fox featured game today, but Kennedy & Fox have only 1 goal in mind, as does their website (as I've previously detailed on this blog). The media guys were totally caught off guard when Mariano was chosen as the closer for the All Star game--without their being consulted in advance. Their usual role was shown to be what it is--a waste of time, often inaccurate, and completely biased. They had nothing to say when Ozzie took their power away--someone who's actually in the game. The fact that you people passively accept the baseball media's manipulation against Mariano Rivera is disgusting.

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Friday, August 11, 2006

QuesTec effect on White Sox pitchers at US Cellular

From Paul Hagen, Philadelphia Daily News:
  • 1.04: Increase in the White Sox staff earned run average (3.61 to 4.65) from 2005 to this season through Wednesday. Some quietly blame the installation of QuesTec cameras at U.S. Cellular Field this year. "When it gets into every stadium, it's going to be a hitter's league," predicted struggling staff ace Mark Buehrle. "I need the corners."

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Red Sox replace Howard Stern as King of All Media

They've controlled ESPN for years, & now they've taken over Foxsports.com, evidenced by the 2nd phony story about the prematurely annointed Saint Papelbon in the past couple of weeks. This was posted around 6:45 or 7PM tonight, August 10, 2006 by Mr. Perry, a full 19 hours and 46.87% away from the stats this sycophant uses to sell the kid. That is, Perry gives false stats. The entire media chose to canonize Jon too soon--they made the same mistake in 2002 and 2003 with Frankie Rodriguez. Not saying that either of these guys isn't good or very good. But neither of them is Mariano Rivera, & the panting baseball media mafia desperately wanted someone to be good or better than Rivera--whom they've constantly and fiercely refused the recognition he's deserved for 11 continuous seasons and 11 consecutive post seasons. (Why? It's easily explained but not correctable. The solution is the media must be removed from baseball awards).They were so eager they even forgot what they usually say in diminishing Mo--that closers give you too small a sample size, they're unreliable, a dime a dozen, too confusing, etc.--of course, one writer I've discussed on this blog has already gone back to that.

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Great work by Ron Villone & Mariano Rivera--No thanks to YES

Ron Villone comes in to mop up after Johnson falls apart, & does a great job in the 7th inning--has the bases loaded & no outs & gets out of it. Farnsworth the complete coward gives up 4 huge runs in 2/3 of an inning in the 8th--for all his money the creep can't pitch 2 days in a row. So he practically loses the game, forces Mariano to have to come in again in the 8th inning and clean up the whole gigantic mess. The adoring coverage that creep Randy Johnson gets is out of hand--from the Yankee radio, to the YES people, to the NY Times writer--it's unwarranted. Ron Villone was only mentioned briefly in the NY Times, which wasted a huge amount of space on Johnson. The YES Network continues to neglect and disrespect Mariano, giving him virtually no coverage in the highlights, with about 2 seconds of video. I got a rewarding, lingering look at #42 on the Mets Channel last week, when the YES people ignored him. I hope Mariano goes to another team if he decides to play beyond his Yankee contract. They do not respect him nearly enough. The crap he's gotten that team out of for 11 years has never been done by any other human being and never will be again. This is a fact that anyone can agree to. Yet they ignore this man. Finally, Al Leiter is shockingly bad. Instant turnoff.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Fantasy Leagues win case against MLBAM

ST. LOUIS -- Fantasy baseball leagues are allowed to use player names and statistics without licensing agreements because they are not the intellectual property of Major League Baseball, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

Baseball and its players have no right to prevent the use of names and playing records, U.S. District Court Judge Mary Ann Medler in St. Louis ruled in a 49-page summary judgment.

St. Louis-based CBC Distribution and Marketing Inc. filed a lawsuit against Major League Baseball Advanced Media, MLB's Internet wing, after CBC was denied a new licensing agreement with the baseball players' association giving it the rights to player profiles and statistics.

Major League Baseball claimed that intellectual property laws and so-called "right of publicity" make it illegal for fantasy leagues to make money off the identities and stats of professional players.

But even if the players could claim the right of publicity against commercial ventures by others, Medler wrote, the First Amendment takes precedent because CBC, which runs CDM Fantasy Sports, is disseminating the same statistical information found in newspapers every day. (AP Report)

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Dave's experience annointing K-rod was similar--2003

From The Sporting News, June 9, 2003 by Dave Sheinin

"We fell hard for Francisco Rodriguez last October, We exalted him and exulted in the "legendary feats" of the Angels' "rising star." We labeled him a "brilliant" righthander and a "babyfaced slayer of a reliever." We marveled at his "preternatural mastery of his art" and his "breathtaking display of power and precision." We compared him to Mariano Rivera and all but handed him the American League Rookie of the Year award for this season.

And those were just from my stories.

(If you think that's bad, you should've seen the way I gushed about the Rally Monkey. I think I annointed him "the Next King Kong.")

So what has happened to our Frankie, our K-Rod, the one who, at age 20, became the youngest pitcher ever to win a postseason game; the one who struck out 28 batters, a record for relievers, in 18 2/3 postseason innings?

As he enters the third month of his official rookie season, he has an ERA hovering around 5.00, and he was passed over for the closer's job when Troy Percival was injured. It is worth asking: Did we (which is to say, I) go too far?

October truly was amazing. And by the miracle of network television, the image of Rodriguez mowing down Yankees, Twins and Giants hitters was beamed into some 58 million homes during the Angels' World Series title run, making him, for one glorious month, the darling of the baseball world.

  • Dave acknowledged K-rod's initial success was in part that he hadn't been seen by major league hitters before. In praising Papelbon, he probably should remember this.

Unfortunately for K-Rod, some 400 of those households belonged to major league hitters. Instead of thinking of how to out-adjective each other when describing him, those hitters were contemplating how to beat him.

  • But, Dave remained hopeful for K-rod...
So we will wait with our adjectives and metaphors for K-Rod to come around again, for the slider to get its tight spin back, for his fragmented arm slots to melt into one, for the ugly swings and the sideways glances from vanquished hitters to return.

Come on, Frankie. Don't make us (me) look bad."

  • Dave sounds very human. I don't know his own situation, but the average person will have a great shot at getting assignments from ESPN, MLB, or FOX if they hype a new closer. They'll have no shot at all if they tell the truth about Mariano Rivera. Check out the management & culture of ESPN--you'll see why.

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Mr. Dave Sheinin must live through a premature coronation

The opening paragraph to his July 28 Washington Post story: OAKLAND, Calif. --" A beautiful gift fell from the sky this spring and landed at the feet of the Boston Red Sox. It was so radiant, they didn't know what to do with it at first. So precious, they have come to treat it with exceptional care. So powerful, the mind races at what the future could hold. For now, however, it is simply a gift that should be shared with and enjoyed by the world. All behold, Jonathan Papelbon."
  • So, after 4 months of regular season experience, this is what you get. He includes a photo of the pitcher grimmacing and punching his fist high in the air in victory. Such a visual is often used in other media like ESPN. Then, Sheinin says there
"could be a huge haul of hardware this season. Papelbon is a leading contender for rookie of the year.

But a case can also be made for Papelbon as a contender for the MVP and/or Cy Young Award. Such consideration is not unprecedented. In 1989, Baltimore's Gregg Olsen won rookie of the year, finished sixth in the voting for the Cy Young and 12th for MVP. And in 1981, Fernando Valenzuela of the Los Angeles Dodgers won the rookie and Cy Young awards in the NL and finished fifth in the voting for MVP."

  • So Sheinin is giving him 3 post season awards already from the BBWAA. Annoints Papelbon as an ace, totally reliable relief pitcher, hands down, probably in history.
But 9 days later, Sheinin must've changed his mind. On August 6 he wrote a whole column about how there are no consistent relief pitchers, they don't exist, you can't ever count on them, & gives quotes from a few managers in the game. This column came out after Papelbon blew the save at Tampa Bay, the team eventually losing the game. Sheinin makes no reference to his former savior St. Papelbon, the "precious" and "beautiful gift." He says, "Look around the leagues, and it's difficult to find a team that is fully satisfied with its bullpen.

So why is it so hard to build a great bullpen?

The simple answer is because relievers, more than any other specific type of player, are alarmingly inconsistent from year to year."

  • Of course, Dave still hasn't said word one about St. Papelbon the Divine or the Red Sox. But he soon reveals they're on his mind.
To prop up his thesis-- he quotes, "You can have the best scouts in the room and all the money in the world, but with bullpen guys, you don't know what you're getting from year to year," said Atlanta Braves assistant GM Frank Wren."
  • Sheinin continues to avoid addressing his own recent reporting by talking about last year.
"Indeed, a glance at a list of the top 25 relievers in the majors last season, based on opponents' batting average (a better gauge of a reliever's effectiveness than ERA), shows how fleeting bullpen success can be. Only four pitchers from that list are in the top 25 again this season (through Thursday's games)."
  • Now Dave sticks the knife in:
"For proof of how impossible it is to build a great bullpen, look no further than the New York Yankees. At their best, during the late 1990s dynasty, they had the formula nailed -- first with Mariano Rivera setting up for John Wetteland, and later with Mike Stanton and Jeff Nelson setting up for Rivera."
  • First Mariano only set-up for Wetteland for 1 year, 1996, not for "the late 1990's dynasty." In fact, in Rivera's first post season appearance in 1995, HE relieved Wetteland for 3 scoreless extra innings and got the Win--but Dave I guess doesn't know that. Dave, if you looked at the big picture, the 11 years of MVP dominance of Mariano Rivera has caused some of the nightmare of scrambling and paying for relief pitching. He's been the main reason the Yankees have won the pennant for 10 consecutive years, & that's been affirmed by a number of managers and top hitters in the game. But that sort of interferes with the point you're trying to make. (Maybe you'd refer to it as "ho-hum dominance," as one informed but honest Red Sox blog described it).
It's been said often the Yankees encouraged Rivera to be a ground ball pitcher, in part to extend his career. So far, he's the only late inning relief pitcher in history to have pitched in 11 regular seasons and 11 post seasons consecutively, with a negligible amount of time out for health problems. If you're really concerned about this subject, Dave, you might want to look into why more teams don't do that with their bullpen pitchers. I guess you don't consider Mariano's 909.3 IP in late inning relief to be approaching longevity or consistency. ( Not including his innings as a starter, of course, in 1995, just 798.1 innings 1996-2006 YTD in regular season and 111.2 IP in post season= 909.3) And not including his IP in All Star games.

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Jack Curry fires another passive-aggressive but well-aimed shot

This hype by Curry is aimed more at keeping out the most deserving AL MVP for the past decade. A fascinating conclusion from the brain of a guy who tracks down half naked ballplayers in places where they shower. Curry states with authority that Ortiz is frontrunner for AL MVP. Maybe they've changed all the rules around-- He says:
  • "Despite the various shifts he has faced, Ortiz is having another standout season. He has put together numbers — 40 home runs, 109 runs batted in and a .290 batting average — that make him the front-runner for the American League’s Most Valuable Player award." NY Times, 8/7/06
So now none of us has to worry--it's all decided -- what a swell deal it must be to know the intimate and considered thoughts of over 500 colleagues, that these colleagues have viewed all Ortiz games, plus all games of 13 other teams in the league. Congratulations to David Ortiz. To any other poor slobs who may qualify--well, take a hike.
  • And, oh yes, Tony Massarotti can get back to the memoir he's writing with Ortiz, knowing that lots of money will be coming in on that book deal after the MVP is announced. Of course, Tony is a voting member of the group that gives out the award, the BBWAA. I guess they don't have any ethics problems with voters being involved in business arrangements with eligible players.
Jack Curry continues his passive-aggressive attack style, as I've documented on this blog. Jack's object as always is to deny Mariano Rivera the recognition he deserves--AL MVP for the past decade.

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When "the shift" is on for Ortiz or Giambi, how did that all start? Jack Curry ,NY Times

According to baseball historians, shifting fielders to one side to stifle a pull hitter dates to the 1920’s, when the approach was used for Cy Williams, a left-handed hitter for the Philadelphia Athletics. While creative defenses have deep roots in baseball, players said they have become more prevalent in recent years because of the continued evolution of scouting and statistical information.

Ted Williams, a Hall of Famer from the Red Sox, encountered one of the most radical shifts ever after he hammered three homers against the Cleveland Indians in the first game of a doubleheader on July 14, 1946. Lou Boudreau, the Indians’ player-manager, installed a shift in which almost his entire team was on the right side of the field against Williams in the second game.

Boudreau, a shortstop, put the third baseman behind second base, shifted himself to the right of second, had the second baseman back into short right field and closer to first and had the first baseman move to the foul line. He also had the center fielder play toward right and the right fielder crowd the line. The only player remaining on the left side was the left fielder, who was positioned behind shortstop. Williams went 0 for 1 with two walks.

“Isn’t that unbelievably ingenuous?” said Brian Butterfield, the third-base coach for the Blue Jays, who positions their defense.

Butterfield was impressed that anyone from more than half a century ago installed defensive adjustments because teams did not have the detailed scouting reports and computer capabilities that are in vogue today.

Butterfield plots Toronto’s defense using a spray chart, which is a diagram of the field with color-coded lines showing where a player’s hits have landed. Butterfield said Giambi’s chart had most of the lines piled on the right side.

In addition, Butterfield studies computer files catalogued into segments that break down Giambi’s ground balls against left-handed and right-handed pitchers. When power hitters like Ortiz and Giambi hit to the left side, Butterfield said, the charts show that they usually hit the ball in the air or dribble a grounder, so it is sensible to have one infielder on the left side and three on the right.

“The only way to combat it would be to start hitting grounders to third, but I don’t think the Yankees would be happy,” Giambi said. “I’m here to drive in runs.”

Giambi said he hoped before every at-bat that the Yankee player batting ahead of him got on base. If Giambi hits with a man on first, the second baseman cannot shift to shallow right because he needs to be closer to the base for the chance of a double play.

But if Giambi bats with a man on second, the second baseman retreats to his deeper perch in right. Derek Jeter, who often bats in front of Giambi, does not try to steal second early in the count so that Giambi can hit without facing a shift.

“Sometimes it gets a little ridiculous,” Giambi said. “When you go to Toronto and the guy is playing so far out, it should be a putout by the right fielder, not the second baseman.”

Aaron Hill, Toronto’s full-time second baseman and part-time short right fielder, said hitters could become irritated that he played deep enough to whisper to the right fielder.“They’ll say, ‘What are you doing out there in right field?’ ” Hill said. “We’re playing the percentages. Sometimes, it works. Sometimes, it doesn’t.”

While Butterfield said the shift was a matter of studying information to increase the chances of producing outs, he added that it could have an added impact by unnerving hitters. Ortiz admitted to being perplexed when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays used four outfielders against him this season, although that did not keep him from hitting a game-winning home run against them Friday night and for bunting for that base hit Saturday.

Giambi said a hitter had to remain mentally strong.

“They want to see that frustration level and that, ‘Hey, we’re getting to him with this,’ ” Giambi said. “They think that, later in the game, when you do get that mistake pitch, you’ll still be thinking about that and miss it.”

Right-handed pull hitters do not see the same shifts as their left-handed counterparts, mostly because a first baseman cannot stray far from first. A third baseman has more freedom to move when no one is one base.

Furthermore, a second baseman can throw runners out at first from shallow right, but a shortstop would have a tougher time doing it from shallow left because of the longer throw.

By Jack Curry, NY Times 8/8/06

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Paul LoDuca and his wife to appear on WFAN tomorrow

Joe Benigno announced on his show today Paul LoDuca and his wife will be on his show tomorrow (Tuesday) Aug. 8. Joe's show is on 10AM-1PM on WFAN 660 AM in the NY metro area. Paul has had a regular weekly spot on Joe's show during the season.

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Sporting News Editors--10 Best Closers of All Time, 7/27/06

Fabulous finishers Sporting News editors pick the 10 best closers of all time. (as of 7/27/06) 1) Mariano Rivera. Has 34 postseason saves -- 19 more than anyone else. Oh, yeah, and he's one of only four closers with 400 or more saves in the regular season. 2) Dennis Eckersley. Averaged 37 saves -- and about one walk a month -- in his 10 seasons as a full-time closer. 3) Rollie Fingers. Hall of Famer won a Cy Young, MVP and World Series MVP and was No. 1 on the saves list when he finished his career. 4) Bruce Sutter. First pitcher to make the Hall without ever starting a game. Was the first National League reliever to reach 300 saves. 5) Trevor Hoffman. Needs 18 saves to become the all-time leader; is No. 1 all-time with an 89.5 conversion rate. 6) Goose Gossage. With 310 saves and 115 wins as a reliever, shouldn't he be in the Hall of Fame? 7) Lee Smith. Leads everyone with 478 saves and 581 save opportunities, but, like Goose, he has yet to get the call from the Hall. 8) Billy Wagner. Has held opponents to a .184 batting average during his 12-year career. 9) Tom Henke. Not quite as dominant as, say, Eric Gagne but had much greater staying power. 10) John Franco. His longevity -- 21 years, 424 saves -- should not be discounted.
  • "The best ever, no doubt about it," says Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, whose 15 postseason saves are second all-time. "No comparison. I didn't have the stuff he did. Not at all. The amazing thing is he's still got the stuff of a 20-year-old."
  • Eckersley says Rivera will usher in a new line of closers bound for Cooperstown.

    "He's first in line," Eckersley says. "When the Hall opens for him, it opens for closers of his era and beyond."

    Leo Mazzone agrees. "He's made the Hall of Fame voters rethink things. They were a little reluctant to put in closers, but I think he solidifies any argument about that."

    A's third baseman Eric Chavez, one of the few who has hit Rivera well, does not hesitate when asked about Rivera's status. "He's the first guy you think of and the last guy you want to face when you think of closers," Chavez says. "He's definitely the best of our era."

From SportingNews.com 7/27/06

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Does Jim Baumbach carry water for the supposedly recessed Tampa faction?

On October 29, 2004, Jim Baumbach of Newsday, said Joe Torre would like Coach Mel to return, while the Tampa execs feel it might be time to ask Mel to step down. It'll be an interesting situation to monitor. (reported by nj.com)
  • Deja vu all over again? Now Baumbach surfaces in Newsday today with a long, meandering piece about someone taking credit for Chien-Ming Wang. That being, Billy Connors.
I thought everyone agreed the Connors & Co. interference from Tampa wasn't helping the team & it would be stopped.
  • But Baumbach has a personal agenda, wants to make some news. So he starts by saying how much the Yankees paid for Wang, & that Wang went with the Yanks because they offered more money. Baumbach must be desperate for more assignments from MLB or ESPN. So, he gets you to hate the Yankees in the first sentence.
  • Then, he proceeds in his article to pander to Billy Connors. Why?
And Jim is a hallowed writer, a guardian of our morals---the president of the BBWAA said that's what they do, guard our morals. Baumbach has put Connors in the limelight before referenced in the October 2004 Newsday article. At that time, the idea was to undermine the entire team effort, including of course Joe Torre and Mel Stottlemyre.

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Maybe Harold Reynolds spoke on behalf of his brother's clients--NY Post

"Before Harold Reynolds was sacked by ESPN for sexual harassment - he apparently forgot ESPN employees are permitted to behave in a sexually inappropriate manner only when on the air - several of his colleagues felt his baseball expertise, spoken daily to a national TV audience, was often spoken on behalf of his brother, Larry.

Larry Reynolds heads an agency that reps big leaguers, including Ryan Howard, Torii Hunter, Chad Cordero and Carl Everett. Hmmm." by Phil Mushnick, NY Post, August 4, 2006.

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Chuck Dressen, 'Mystery Guest' on What's My Line

The show was from either 1952 or 1953, and the Brooklyn Dodgers were about to play the Yankees in the World Series (Dressen was manager of the Dodgers). Arlene Francis was the one who guessed who he was (they're blindfolded for the questioning). Mr. Dressen was a bit peeved at Dorothy Kilgallen for something she'd written in a recent column. Earlier this week, What's My Line had Ted Williams and Willie Mays as mystery guests. What a fantastic show. Ted Williams took 5 years out of his prime playing time to serve in the military.

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7 of 10 players in yesterday's Yankee lineup weren't there a year ago--NY Times

Graphic: New-Look Lineup

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Foxsports.com says "Bill" Wickman was traded to the Braves....

Bullpen report Trading Bill Wickman to the Braves made Fausto Carmona the closer in Cleveland, but he's struggled badly in the role.
Also Read:
  • Fantasy Fifty
  • Prospects: Upton gets the call-up
  • The boxscore: Is fantasy your thing?
  • Within the game: Trade talk
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    Baseball America Poll: Mariano Rivera #1 Reliever, AL Managers

    Baseball America announced the results of their "Best Tools" survey (of league managers) for 2006:

    Best Reliever #1 in the AL - Mariano Rivera (ahead of B.J. Ryan)

    • And you still don't think there's a baseball media mafia? The group drives perception, and in this case they're wrong yet again. AL Managers know a bit more about the matter & aren't pitching jobs at ESPN or pushing personal agendas. Those who keep you from knowing the truth about Mariano include: MLB, MLB.com, ESPN, the many who write for ESPN.com, FOXsports.com, and most members of the BBWAA.

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    Wednesday, August 02, 2006

    Cuban Players Wait and See---NY Times

    "The sports agent Gus Dominguez, who has represented 38 Cuban defectors, sees a better day coming for baseball players on the island now that an ailing Fidel Castro has ceded power to his brother Raúl after more than four and a half decades of restrictive rule. It just may not come as soon as some believe.

    “I think until you hear exactly what happened to Castro himself, you don’t know what’s going to take place,” Dominguez said Tuesday in a telephone interview from California, acknowledging that few details of Fidel Castro’s health after intestinal surgery were known.

    “Some people are saying this could be a dress rehearsal for when it really happens, to see what the reaction is,” said Dominguez, looking ahead to when Castro steps down permanently. “So guarded optimism is what I have.”

    That Cuba still has a wealth of professional baseball prospects is unchallenged. The Cubans exhibited plenty of talent in finishing second in the inaugural World Baseball Classic this spring, and Dominguez said other skilled players surfaced on the team’s trips to Colombia and the Netherlands. He estimated that Cuba had more than 200 players capable of playing professionally.

    Another agent accustomed to dealing with Cuban players, Jaime Torres of Miami —whose clients included José Contreras of the Chicago White Sox — agreed that the Cuban talent pool was exceptionally deep. Torres spoke Tuesday from the Dominican Republic, where he is auditioning five Cuban defectors for pro scouts.

    Cuba’s Communist government released a statement Tuesday evening suggesting that Castro, who will be 80 on Aug. 13, had survived intestinal surgery and was in stable condition. Castro had only temporarily relinquished power to his brother because of the surgery.

    But Dominguez said he felt strongly that players on the island one day would not have to risk their lives on a rickety boat or other backdoor methods to have a chance to play professionally in America.

    “It may take a month or two for the Cuban people to realize that Raúl doesn’t have the power that Fidel does,” Dominguez said. “I don’t think the people of Cuba will rally behind Raúl. If Fidel is gone, then I think communism in Cuba, as we know it, is gone.”

    As many of Miami’s Cubans danced in the streets over the prospect of Castro’s demise, the Mets’ two players of Cuban descent — pitcher Orlando Hernández and the utilityman Eli Marrero — were far more cautious. Hernández did not want to talk about the issue.

    “I stay away from politics,” he said. “I’m here to play baseball.”

    When a reporter from a Spanish-language newspaper tried to explain Hernández’s atypical abruptness on this issue, Hernández waved him off, saying, “Don’t say anything more.”

    Marrero also brushed off several attempts by the news media to discuss the subject but later said he did not want to get caught up in all the celebrating when nothing about Castro was certain.

    “You don’t know if he’s going to die or if he’s just resting somewhere,” said Marrero, who left Cuba 26 years ago when he was 6. “Until it’s official news, I can’t really jump to any conclusions.”

    The two Marlins of Cuban descent — the Hall of Famer Tony Pérez, a guest coach, and the longtime major leaguer Cookie Rojas, who works on the team’s Spanish broadcasts — had similar thoughts as Marrero.

    Rojas said he did not want to talk about anything political but said: “There’s a lot of talent there. But it’s been there for 40 years. How come they haven’t done anything about it before this?”

    Pérez said people could be premature in their exuberance.

    “People have the right to celebrate,” he said. “But celebrate for what? There’s nothing for sure yet.”" by Charlie Nobles, NY Times, August 1, 2006

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    Tuesday, August 01, 2006

    Derek Jeter Cologne

    For those 'close and late' situations....

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