Monday, January 29, 2007

So. Florida Sun-Sentinel Maucker Named E&P Editor of the Year

NEW YORK "Earl Maucker, editor and senior vice president of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, is Editor & Publisher's Editor of the Year, the magazine announced Monday."
  • "E&P revealed that Maucker was selected for his leadership role in growing the newspaper's readership and integrating marketing efforts -- while nurturing aggressive watchdog journalism that was recognized by winning three finalists spots in the 2006 Pulitzer Prizes.
The Sun-Sentinel achievements in readership growth -- propelling it early last year into Florida's most-read Sunday paper -- stands in contrast to other big dailies, especially some of its sibling papers who have been hit hard recently, while facing the uncertain future of Tribune Co.
  • “I think at the [Tribune] Tower, they’d get rid of the Chicago Tribune before they’d ever let go of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel,” one former Tribune executive confides, only half-jokingly.
E&P reports in its cover profile: "At a time when metro daily newspaper readership is stalled if not falling, the Sun-Sentinel is growing, and converting skimmers into heavier readers, by following a simple mantra that has become its most repeated advertising message: 'Local, helpful, useful.'" Via Romenesko/Poynter.org
  • On Feb. 5, 2006, the following post appeared on this blog:


Beginning today, Brian White writes, the Sun-Sentinel will no longer vote on baseball or college football awards. He says they'll report the news, not make it. The Sun-Sentinel joins a growing list of newspapers who no longer permit their writers to vote on these awards, including Cy Young, MVP, & Hall of Fame.

  • Among other things, the remuneration for winners made the paper reconsider its participation.

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Published: January 29, 2007, the NY Times
  • "The energetic, young children scampered along a bumpy dirt infield, chased baseballs around an outfield that was missing almost as much grass as it contained and sidestepped a leaning light tower that was a miniature Tower of Pisa. Still, to them, this tattered field in Vega Alta, P.R., is hallowed ground."
Allen H? Bob?
  • "Actually, Jesus Rivera Park is sacred to little ones and not-so-little ones because it is a place where three neighborhood legends once played. It is a field where the Molina brothers — Bengie, José and Yadier, all catchers — rumbled through the divots as they developed into major leaguers."
"As scruffy as Rivera Park is now, Bengie said it was a totally distressed piece of land before his family and other residents turned it into a relative haven."
  • This is a crime. (sm)
Items from article by Jack Curry, NY Times, 1/29/07, "3 weeks to pitchers and Molinas" Have a nice day.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

MLB, Inc. in China: It was Peter O'Malley who opened the doors--AZ. Republic

Joseph Reaves of the Arizona Republic relates the truth about baseball in Communist China, as opposed to the smug, surface blurb given by the NY Times last week. Reaves may not've realized whose side the Times was on in quoting parts of its report (it's always the Yankee-hating side, the haze of "rich guys getting it done").
  • Reaves quotes the recent Times article about Yankee management visiting China and Japan and is hesitant to believe the international cloak of greatness seemingly implied in the NY Times article. In putting the trip in a more correct context (for which I'm grateful), he calms the fires lit by the Times.
  • He may not know the Times isn't looking to build the Yankees up, it's putting forth its usual boilerplate--opening an article dripping with key words and phrases meant to evoke hatred, not helpful with what should be explained in such articles. Reaves begins:
"Judging from the stories in the New York Times last week, you'd think the Yankees discovered China - and they were heading there to bring back the treasures of the Orient.
  • "The Chinese are shouting in China today because the Yankees are heading there in their latest international exploration," the Times wrote. "Vasco da Gama and Magellan had nothing on them."
  • (Translation: The Yankees are ruthless, greedy imperialists. They CAN do this kind of thing while other teams (sob) just CAN'T.
  • Reality: The Yankees should not be wasting their valuable time and energy as errand boys for Allan H. "Bud" Selig, Inc., who already has an office in Beijing. The huge profits given by fans to Bud, Inc. are being used to sell goods in a communist country with slave labor, child labor, poor sanitation and environmental standards, etc.
    • The Yankees have other things they should be doing with their time, #1 being overhaul of the YES Network.
Back to the Times: "Marco Polo might have beaten them to China, but he didn't go home with a shortstop to replace (Derek) Jeter." (Translation: The writer can't get readers unless he makes derisive, snide comments about the Yankees. I've seen no evidence Chass can write an article without inspiring hate and envy against individual Yankee players.) Reaves, again: "Neither will the Yankees, nor anyone else. Not for a long while yet." (Yes, clearly, and you do eventually get this from the Times, but by that point, you've been taught the Yankees are just bad). Reaves continues: "But that doesn't mean the Yankees are making a mistake trying to establish a presence in China. Quite the opposite. The move is long overdue. And other teams would do well to follow."
  • Reaves reveals key points in China's dealings with baseball having nothing to do with the Yankees--I'm happy about this.
"The Shanghai Base Ball Club was up and running in 1863, a decade before the game made it to Japan. In 1881, the Imperial Court of the Qing Dynasty summoned home a group of elite Chinese students who had gone to the United States to study because the boys had fallen in love with baseball and were becoming too Americanized.
  • During the years between World Wars I and II, Babe Ruth, Casey Stengel, Waite Hoyt and dozens of other stars wrapped up their tours of Japan by traveling to China to play the all-Chinese Shanghai Pandas.
Units of the Communist People's Liberation Army were encouraged to play "army ball" during their Long March because their commanders believed throwing a baseball helped teach soldiers to better hurl grenades.
  • And until the Cultural Revolution began in 1966, China held regular national baseball tournaments featuring 30 or more teams.
But truth be told, baseball was about as popular in China as table tennis is in the United States." Reaves says this will change, but falls back on the huge population, bundles of cash, & the (gag) anticipated exposure of the 2008 Olympics there. "Baseball never will become a national obsession in China. But the sheer size of China's 1.3 billion population, the stunning economic growth and the upcoming exposure baseball will get in the 2008 Beijing Olympics offer opportunities that can't be missed." NOW, REAVES SAYS BUD SELIG ALREADY HAS AN OFFICE IN BEIJING AND IS "TOYING" WITH SENDING YOUR PLAYERS HALF WAY AROUND THE WORLD TO OPEN THE 2008 SEASON.
"Major League Baseball recently opened an office in Beijing, and Commissioner Bud Selig has said he is toying with the idea of opening the 2008 season in China if the Olympic baseball stadium is completed in time."
"The Yankees are sending four of their top executives - President Randy Levine, General Manager Brian Cashman and assistant GM Jean Afterman, and Michael Tusiani, their corporate sales and sponsorships expert - to China next week. Their long-term goals are to expand the Yankees brand, set up a training academy and begin grooming the Yao Ming of baseball. It can happen." Fine, but now the reality. Reaves:
  • "The Yankees aren't visionaries. Longtime Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley was baseball's pioneer in China."
  • I know this because Kevin Kennedy talked about it on XM. He also mentioned Chinese athletes being humiliated by their coaches and having meals withheld as punishment for less than perfect performance. (Kennedy said this in a surprisingly detached manner).
"In the mid-1980s, just as China was opening to the outside world, O'Malley helped build the first practice field in Beijing and paid for construction of a baseball stadium in the port city of Tianjin, 75 miles southeast of the capital.
  • Dodger Stadium - as it still is called today - is home of the Tianjin Lions of the Chinese Baseball League, a Japanese-sponsored professional league founded in 2002. That league could be fertile ground for MLB's future in China."
    • ***So the fertile ground in China is actually a Japanese team!!!
"The Chinese government has invested heavily in baseball in recent years, partnering with MLB to hire Valley residents Jim Lefebvre and Bruce Hurst to groom the Chinese National Team for the 2008 Olympics." (How these 2 individuals are actually functioning over there with fans' money is a question. Neither Communist China nor MLB, Inc. are forthcoming with provable facts).
  • "It might even go a long way to fulfilling the prophesy of Roger B. Doulens, a major working with the U.S. Special Services trying to help Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalists hold off Mao Zedong's Communists during China's civil war.
In a letter to the Sporting News that ran in March 1946 under the headline: "Chinese Grabbing Chance to Learn Game," Doulens wrote:
  • "It is not beyond the realm of reason that the Sporting News will announce, some time in 1955: Lao Yi-Ping, sensational shortstop of the Shanghai Spartans of the Yellow River League was sold to the New York Giants for 500,000 Chinese dollars, the Chinese National Baseball Federation announced."
"That never happened. By 1955, the Giants were entering their final years in New York and Chinese dollars disappeared with the coming of a Communist regime.
  • But maybe Doulens was on to something." I'm grateful to Reaves for eschewing sensationalism and CHEAP EMOTIONAL PLOYS TO BAIT READERS like the Times does. Reaves actually gave me a much more interesting and factual story.
Article by Joseph A. Reaves, Arizona Republic, 1/28/07, "China Offers Market Loaded with Potential."

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DirecTV offering The Baseball Channel on "Basic Tier" drove the MLB deal---NY Daily News

"Industry informants say MLB's motives in this "Extra Innings" caper have a lot to do with something tentatively called "The Baseball Channel." See, "TBC" does not yet exist. But in its negotiation with the cable consortium,

  • MLB suits tried linking an "Extra Innings" deal to the cable operators agreeing to eventually put "TBC" on a "basic" tier. Being placed on a "basic" tier means MLB would be paid per subscriber based on an entire cable system's universe of subscribers.

The cable industry balked, saying when "TBC" becomes a reality, it belongs on a "sports tier," which means MLB would be paid based only on how many subscribers purchased that individual tier. Apparently, that's when MLB took its "Extra Innings" deal over to DirecTV, which guaranteed it would make "TBC" available to about 85% of its subscriber base.

  • If the NFL Network, which actually exists, could not convince companies such as Time Warner and Cablevision to place it on a "basic" tier, what makes MLB suits think the industry would roll over and put "TBC" on "basic?" And in NFLN's case, it actually had an exclusive Thursday/Saturday package of games to offer.

What's "TBC" going to offer? Another package of games already adding to the glut of televised baseball?

  • Still, those loyal subscribers to "Extra Innings" cannot get enough baseball. For many who live out of their favorite team's market, this was an essential part of their summer and their lives."
From Bob Raissman's column, NY Daily News, 1/28/07, "MLB's Screwball."
  • P.S. Buster Olney, interviewed on XM today (1/29) says MLB, Inc. will continue to screw the fan:
    • because you keep buying tickets to games. He says MLB, Inc. remembers fans came back after the 1994 strike, so they'll come back no matter what.
And NY Post's Phil Mushnick says, "It's reminiscent of the quick-cash Peter Ueberroth days. In 1989, MLB sold exclusive national rights to CBS, even knowing that CBS planned to provide far less baseball than NBC had before it." and
  • "Networks pay fortunes for rights. Then they plead with people to watch. Then they don't allow them to." From Mr. Mushnick's NY Post column, 1/29/07

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Middle Relief Pitchers Being Shown the Money---NY Times

"In an era when starting pitchers last fewer innings, middle relievers have become more important. A manager needs one or more pitchers to get him from the starter to the closer.

  • With an increase in competition for good relief pitching, teams are offering relievers more money. That is a welcome development for a group that has always been the lowest paid on the field."
  • Murray Chass quotes players' union figures showing the "average salary" up slightly. But growth for the top 10 or 20 contracts spread over 30 teams is probably much higher. Teams are showing they can win relying more on a bullpen and less on starting pitching.

"Average salaries for other players ranged from $2,793,608 for second basemen to $5,872,629 for third basemen. First basemen and designated hitters were also over $5.5 million, and starting pitchers and outfielders were just under $5 million.

The Baltimore Orioles did more than their share this winter to raise the average salary of relievers.

They signed Danys Báez to a three-year, $19 million contract; Jamie Walker for three years and $12 million; and Chad Bradford for three years and $10.5 million."

  • These examples are more illustrative of the point.

"The Mets signed Scott Schoeneweis for three years and $10.8 million.

The Angels signed Justin Speier for four years and $18 million."

From the NY Times article by Murray Chass, 1/28/07, "Middle Relievers Moving Toward Front and Center"

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Phil Hendrie's Idea for President

Phil Hendrie has a great idea for next president of the US: Phil is a Democrat, knows Rudy has some liberal views, and thinks he's the leader that can win. (Phil doesn't like any of the Dems. getting publicity right now).
  • This just struck me as a very creative idea. Phil has a lot of those.
(I don't care for any politicians. But, since we have to have one, this is the one we must have).

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MLB.com may be looking for you--they're hiring

  • Noticed on their website today: MLB.com is hiring full and part-time positions including:
    Stats Stringer Score MLB games from the press box.
    Sports Reporter Cover live MLB games across the country, as well as MLB news of the day off the field.
    Pitch f/x Operator Track every pitch for television, Internet and stadium video production.

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Mets advantage over YES Network--Raissman, NY Daily News

I've mentioned before that the Mets channel, SNY, has shown more acknowledgment of meaningful Yankee events than the hideous YES Network. Bob Raissman, commenting on SNY's handling of Willie Randolph's new contract, notes the Mets channel 's studios are actually in New York City, while the YES Network's are in Connecticut. YES Network studio productions show no sign of an actual Yankee fan being involved. Rather, the most important items or events are never shown or spoken about.
  • They're geographically and philosophically much more like ESPN which is already in control of all baseball information. They operate as an independent state with no Yankee influence. I watch it as little as possible.

"Man, they were all smiling for those SNY cameras.

  • The occasion marked the first time one of the local baseball teams (both own networks) staged this kind of event from its own studio.
  • Unless the Yankees are going to bus the media up to Connecticut, where the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network studio is located, the Mets are the only team in town that can pull this off.

Litner said it was all part of SNY's theory of inclusion. Yesterday, he opened the door and let everyone in. All were invited. Even MSG's Anthony Fucilli was seen roaming around the premises.

"We're very inclusive," Litner said. "We are inclusive of all the teams, all the events, all the media, all the viewers. Others have a different point of view on that. We've been very consistent."

Mr. Randolph will second that emotion.

After all, he's also included in SNY's plans.

They may even be spelled out in that new contract."

From NY Daily News, Bob Raissman's column Originally published on January 26, 2007

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

MLB "Extra Innings Throws Curve, Fans Cry Foul"--NY Times, 1/26/07

The NY Times' Richard Sandomir follows up his column about the MLB, Inc. move to DirecTV by relating some fan & blog comments--with which he's been swamped this week:
  • "On the umpbump.com fan site, a screed against the deal was titled, “MLB Only Needs 700 Million Reasons to Tell You to Drop Dead.”

"The deal would also make DirecTV the exclusive home of the 24/7 baseball channel that will launch in 2009 —

  • but that is not the concern of the devotees who will be disenfranchised..."
(We've been 'disenfranchised'--but, no matter--as Darren Rovell clinically noted earlier this week in an interview on XM, it's just a matter of MLB, Inc. accepting some upset people for awhile). Back to Richard Sandomir's column:
  • ..."by cable’s and Dish’s loss of Extra Innings if the agreement is completed. It will be difficult for them to see much besides Major League Baseball getting $30 million more a year than what InDemand, the consortium that distributed Extra Innings to cable systems, bid to renew it."

(And the universe of DirecTV potential customers is less than 1/5th of what it has been on cable, Mr. Sandomir points out).

He asks, "Why anger any part of your fan base? Why marginalize any part of your fan base?" and notes a distinction between the NFL Sunday Ticket & the MLB, Inc. deal:

"This situation is different from that of Sunday Ticket, the package of CBS’s and Fox’s Sunday afternoon, out-of-market N.F.L. games that are available only on DirecTV, which pays $700 million annually for it. Cable subscribers never had it, and while they may covet it, they can’t complain that they once had it but that it was sold to DirecTV, because DirecTV has always had it."

Sandomir concludes that MLB, Inc. hopes most will just switch to DirecTV or watch available games via Advanced Media (MLB.com, Inc.) on their computer. I'm telling you it won't happen for a few reasons:

  • Many fans will never be able to subscribe to DirecTV, whether they want to or not. There are too many physical problems associated with it.
  • The "computer" alternative is a poor one which you'd know if you did nothing else but read this blog. There are too many blacked out games for a variety of reasons. The service just isn't there.
  • DirecTV is more likely to go out of business before MLB, Inc. sees what it thinks it will see. As I've detailed elsewhere, the company has problems and has just been sold. I have personal experience with the service (and cancelled it). It goes out in bad weather, eg. rain, is more expensive than a similar service would be via cable, is a poorly conceived and terribly run company far too out of control for it to be rescued at this late date.
Items from the NY Times article by Richard Sandomir, 1/26/07, "Extra Innings Throws a Curve, Fans Cry Foul."

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Ben Bradlee agrees with me! About Kornheiser!

Putting an entirely different slant on Kornheiser's signing with WTWP radio than earlier reports:

  • "Kornheiser gives up plenty to go with the home radio team—probably money, certainly reach, unless he can somehow partner with ESPN.

This latest event sheds some light on how far the Post will go to keep its brand-name stars.

  • It took a personal appeal from Ben Bradlee to bring Kornheiser to Post radio."

(From The Washingtonian.com, 1/25/07 by Harry Jaffe)

Wow! I found this item at the very end of an article about Michael Wilbon--it was an afterthought to the writer's main thesis. It shows there's usually more going on than meets the eye. The best part is: somebody finally agrees with me on something! And it's Ben Bradlee for God's sake!

  • That won't mean much to most of you, but he was a big deal at one time. (sm)
(This is an update to my 1/24 post about Tony Kornheiser's return to DC radio)

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Yanks to hold news conference Thursday about China trip--NY Times

"The Yankees have scheduled a news briefing today to tell about their plans, but all they said yesterday was that it was about an international venture. With the Yankees, an international venture means international intrigue."
  • Later in the article, Murray Chass says:
"By enhancing their brand in China, the Yankees won’t directly benefit financially because revenue from any merchandise sold in any country goes to baseball’s central fund, whose proceeds are divided among all 30 teams. But chances are that more Yankees merchandise will be sold in China than caps and shirts of the Devil Rays or the Royals. In other words, all teams will benefit from the Yankees’ trip."
  • I'm noting this paragraph earlier, because it changes what the average person will already have thought about an "international" Yankee "venture," and Chass, of course includes a bunch of build-up in that vein which I'm leaving out of this post. It's boilerplate stuff. I'm just focusing on the facts of the Yankee executives' purported trip to China and Japan. Chass continues, saying the team feels China may be a source of new talent.

"Players from Latin American countries, who are collectively the most talented players outside the United States, have dominated the major leagues with increasing frequency. But everyone knows about those countries, and the competition for players has become fiercer. Give the Chinese time and teaching, and their country could become the next baseball outpost. The country certainly has enough people from whom the majors can develop players.

  • That’s the Yankees’ thinking, and they could be the first major league team to open an academy in China, the kind of academies that have proliferated in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.** Somewhere in China there may be a town that some day will turn out shortstops the way San Pedro de Macorís has in the Dominican.

The kids in the Dominican play baseball and ride motorbikes. It can happen in China, too, and the Yankees want to be the first to oversee the project. Marco Polo might have beaten them to China, but he didn’t go home with a shortstop to replace Jeter."

  • **(I wouldn't count on those academies in Venezuela in the near future, but the NY Times probably isn't up to speed about Chavez trying to lock his players inside the country). sm

Best of all, fun-seekers, the whole expenditure of time and labor by the Yankee employees is not under their own supervision, but under that of MLB, Incorporated, ie. Allan H. "Bud" Selig, head of the Union of Soviet Socialist Baseball Owners. (That's my slant--Murray Chass just says it's "with the blessing of and under the supervision of" same.

Items from NY Times article by Murray Chass, 1/25/07, "Yanks Hope to Get a Jump in China."

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Bob Gibson To Speak At Greenwich Kitchens ODU Baseball Clinic Saturday

NORFOLK, VA-- Bob Gibson , a two-time World Series MVP, nine-time gold glove award winner and Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals will be the keynote speaker and clinician for the 30th annual GTI Systems, Inc. "Meet the Stars' Banquet and the annual Greenwich Kitchens/ODU Baseball Clinic Jan. 26 and 27, 2007.

Tickets for the Clinic are $5, and are on sale at the Old Dominion Athletic ticket Office in the Athletic Administration Building (683-5484), and at the door Saturday, Jan. 27 with one session, beginning at 9 a.m. in the Constant Convocation Center.

  • Gibson, known as a fierce competitor, pitched for the Cardinals from 1959 to 1975. Gibson completed his career with 3,117 strikeouts and was a seven time All-Star. In 1968, Gibson recorded a 1.12 earned run average which is still the best in Major League live ball era, and second best all-time.

Gibson threw 13 shutouts in 1968 and allowed only two earned runs in 92 straight innings of pitching. Later that year he won game one of 1968 World Series, beating 30-game winner Denny McLain, 4-0, striking out 17 Detroit Tigers to set a World Series record which still stands today. Gibson led the Cardinals to three World Series, winning in 1964 and 67, including the game three clinchers. He also won a World Series best eight games. Gibson struck out 200 or more batters nine times and led the National League four times in shutouts.

  • Gibson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981. In the previous 29 years of the clinic, 110 major leaguers, managers, coaches and administrators have participated the clinic weekend. Past Baseball Hall of Famers have included Hank Aaron, Brooks Robinson, Lou Brock, Jim "Catfish" Hunter, Tommy Lasorda, Harmon Killebrew, Dave Winfield, Sparky Anderson, Ferguson Jenkins, Gaylord Perry, Robin Roberts, Bob Feller, Steve Carlton, Johnny Bench, Jim Palmer, and Tom Seaver.

Towny Townsend, who has devoted most of his life to the game of baseball and founded the first baseball camps in the State of Virginia will be honored at the GTI Systems banquet as the recipient of the Bud Metheny Award, for contributions to the game of baseball in Hampton Roads.

  • Article from cstv.com (College Sports TV, a CBS Co.), 1/24/07

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Juan Uribe Attends Hearing in Dominican Republic with new lawyer--next date Feb. 7

SAN CRISTÓBAL. - The Penal Court of Appeal of this judicial district reenvió this Wednesday in afternoon for the seven of February, “the order of revision” presented/displayed by the pelotero of Great Leagues, Juan Uribe, before the decision of a judge of Instruction that orders to him to appear 15 and 30 of every month by before the Office of the public prosecutor of San Cristóbal.
The judges of the Court of Appeal welcomed therefore a pedimento of the lawyer Roberto Faxas, representative of the part plaintiff who requested the postponement of the hearing. Uribe arrived at the palace of Justice of this city in company of two executives of the White Sox of Chicago, team in which plays in the American baseball. Reporters of Almomento.net could not obtain their names. He has in addition a new representative in his defense in the person to the famous jurist Marino Elsevif Pineda. Uribe is accused to violate articles 2, 295 and 296 of the Penal Procedural Códico in damage of the worker of the field Antonio González, who received a shot in his left arm day of October in an incident happened in the park of the community of 12 Juan Baron. After the submission of the pelotero, the judge of Instruction of the Court of First Instance, Regina Carvajal, arranged that the professional sportsman appears 15 and 30 of every month by before the Fiscal Office of the judge advocate general of San Cristóbal. With this postponement of the hearing, the presence of the player in the fields of training is “in the limbo”. Report by Ramon Gonzalez from almomento.net, 1/24/07, google translation Original article in Spanish:
SAN CRISTÓBAL.- La Corte Penal de Apelación de este distrito judicial reenvió este miércoles en la tarde para el siete de febrero, "el pedido de revisión" presentado por el pelotero de Grandes Ligas, Juan Uribe, ante la decisión de una juez de Instrucción que le ordena presentarse los 15 y 30 de cada mes por ante la Fiscalía de San Cristóbal.
Los jueces de la Corte de Apelación acogieron así un pedimento del abogado Roberto Faxas, representante de la parte demandante quien pidió el aplazamiento de la audiencia. Uribe llegó al palacio de Justicia de esta ciudad en compañía de dos ejecutivos de los Medias Blancas de Chicago, equipo en que juega en el béisbol estadounidense. Reporteros de Almomento.net no pudieron obtener sus nombres. Tiene además un nuevo representante en su defensa en la persona del afamado jurista Marino Elsevif Pineda. Uribe está acusado de violar los artículos 2, 295 y 296 del Códico Procesal Penal en perjuicio del obrero del campo Antonio González, quien recibió un balazo en su brazo izquierdo el día 12 de octubre en un incidente ocurrido en el parque de la comunidad de Juan Barón. Tras el sometimiento del pelotero, la jueza de Instrucción del Juzgado de Primera Instancia, Regina Carvajal, dispuso que el deportista profesional se presente los 15 y 30 de cada mes por ante la Procuraduría Fiscal de San Cristóbal. Con este aplazamiento de la audiencia, la presencia del jugador en los campos de entrenamientos está "en el limbo".

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Report: Juan Uribe attends hearing with 2 White Sox executives

From Dominican Today:

SAN CRISTOBAL, Dominican Republic. - The San Cristóbal Court of Appeals rescheduled a hearing for February 7 in which Dominican Major Leagues player Juan Uribe requested a review of a lower Court’s measure ordering him to appear on the 15tn and 30th of each month before the Office of the Prosecutor here.

Uribe arrived today Wednesday in this city’s courthouse accompanied by 2 Chicago White Sox executives and a new legal representative, the famed lawyer Marino Elsevif Pineda, according to the local news site almomento.net.

The major leaguer is accused of shooting the farm worker Antonio González in the left arm in an incident which took place in the park of the nearby community Juan Baron, on October 12.

After his indictment, Instruction Court judge Regina Carvajal ruled to implement the restrictive measures against Uribe in San Cristóbal.

With this hearing’s postponement, the White Sox player’s presence in spring training is now in doubt.

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LA Times to staff: "LATimes.com now primary vehicle"

"LAT editor James O'Shea told his staff Wednesday that the paper is in "a fight to recoup threatened revenue that finances our news gathering," and urged them to
  • begin viewing latimes.com as the paper's primary vehicle for delivering news.
  • Staffers will take an "Internet 101" course to learn how to post content to the website.
  • Business editor Russ Stanton was named innovation editor, a new position. His mission "is nothing less than the transformation of our newsroom into a 24/7 operation that breaks news all the time online."
From Romenesko/Poynter.org, 1/24/07 Article from the LA Times.

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Jose Lima & David Ortiz donate their musical talents to player of the week in DR

"Next Monday will be the celebration of the pelotero of the week of Andres Vanderhorst… The best thing will be than there will be special artistic presentations then, aside from Sergio Vargas,
  • Jose Lima will sing, bachata and merengue,
  • and David Ortiz, reguetón… The event will be to 7 at night in the hall the Celebration the Jaragua hotel…"
Item from column of Hector J. Cruz, Listin Diario, 1/24/07, google translation. ***One item on google said this about 'regueton:' " People who like Regueton also like Don Omar, Wisin Y Yandel, Daddy Yankee." Honest--you could try it. Following is item in original Spanish:
  • "Lo mejor será que habrá presentaciones artísticas especiales pues, aparte de Sergio Vargas, cantarán José Lima, bachata y merengue, y David Ortiz, reguetón... El evento será a las 7 de la noche en el salón La Fiesta del hotel Jaragua..."
Attribution as above.

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Tony Kornheiser back on D.C. Radio, AM&FM, starting 2/20

""The Tony Kornheiser Show" will debut Feb. 20 and will air on Washington Post Radio (WTWP, 1500 AM and 107.7 FM) live on weekdays from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., with a repeat airing immediately afterward (on Fridays the last half-hour will be preempted by "The Politics Program"), according to Bonneville. WTWP is owned by Bonneville and programmed in conjunction with The Post's newsroom."
  • Kornheiser, age 58 agreed to a 3-year deal from Bonneville while WTEM's owner, Clear Channel Communications came in 2nd. Kornheiser has been affiliated with the Post since 1979 and sides agreed he wished to continue the association.
  • Redskins owner Dan Snyder and his Red Zebra Broadcasting also sought Kornheiser, but it was felt conflicts might arise as he is also a football commentator.

"Based on his track record at WTEM, Kornheiser could provide a major boost to WTWP, which has had anemic ratings since its debut in March. During the most recent Arbitron ratings period, WTWP was tied for No. 23 among local stations, averaging 0.7 percent of the audience.

The addition of Kornheiser will take Washington Post Radio in a somewhat different direction. Instead of featuring a host's discussions with Post reporters about world, national and local news, the station will clear out about half its morning schedule for what is primarily a personality-driven entertainment and commentary program."

From article by Paul Farhi, Washington Post, 1/24/07

  • I'm glad to see someone who actually has experience and personality hired by a radio station. There is radio talent in the United States, but most stations think you have to hire something different. They think someone who sounds like a giggly teenager will automatically get younger listeners.
Update: See new post above, 1/25/07--It was Ben Bradlee's late plea that got the Kornheiser deal done.

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Bernie Williams--please, enough with the gab--just keep him.

Bernie’s been a great one for us,” said Gene Michael, the Yankees’ senior vice president who oversaw Williams’s development. “He’s done a great job for a long time. It’d be different without Bernie. I like Bernie a lot. He can still play.” Quote from NY Times article by Tyler Kepner, 1/24/07

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Boston Globe closes foreign bureaus to save jobs in Boston newsroom

"The Boston Globe, which opened its first foreign bureau in the mid-1970s, is closing its bureaus in Jerusalem, Berlin and Bogota, Colombia. The four reporters in those bureaus will be offered jobs in Boston. Editor Martin Baron tells his staff: "Continuing to bear the expense of our foreign bureaus would have required us to reduce staffing by a dozen or so positions beyond those already announced. We concluded that it would be unwise to meet the newsroom’s financial targets by making additional staff reductions." " From Romenesko/Poynter.org, 1/23/07

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Cuban press attacks “purchase of sportsmen"--mad about Table Tennis athletes (look out baseball)

Havana/dpa. - The specialized Cuban press yesterday attacked the purchase and nationalization of foreign athletes, an “alarming practice” in world-wide sport that, it says, threatens extending in Latin America. “The purchase and nationalization (of sportsmen) are only one analgesic bandage for the deep sport wound of these countries”, commented Noticiero Nacional Deportivo (NND).

In an ample report it questioned “if the solution to be the vanguard in the sport is really that formula or if it turns to countries that practice it in real sport powers”.

The “Chinese” of RD These specialized sport spaces agree in which “the appearance of the Chinese Liu representing Song of Argentina in Table Tennis of the Pan-American Games of Winnipeg (Canada, 1999), was the first warning of the expansion of this phenomenon in countries of Latin America”.

“The competitions of table tennis in the Pan-American Games of Santo Domingo 2003 presented/displayed, like by art of magic, Latin names such `' as Snows Xue Wu, Roll Quian and Luis Lin Ju, in the representation of the host country”, says on the other hand “Workers”.

It emphasizes in addition that the Chinese also dominated that discipline in the Central American Games and of the Caribbean of 2006, celebrated in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

Other publications recently emphasize that “Asian nations as Chile and Costa Rica influenced by the Dominican case and the North American precedents (of the United States and Canada), are lawyer openly by the pimponistas nationalization of `' (players of table tennis) and arqueros not to remain behind the tendency of world-wide sport.”

Article from Listin Diario, 1/23/07, Dominican newspaper, translation from Spanish by google. Following is original article in Spanish: Prensa cubana ataca “compra de deportistas”

La Habana/dpa.- La prensa especializada cubana arremetió ayer contra la compra y nacionalización de atletas extranjeros, una “alarmante práctica” en el acontecer deportivo mundial que, dice, amenaza con extenderse en América Latina. “La compra y nacionalización (de deportistas) es sólo una venda analgésica para la profunda herida deportiva de estos países”, comentó el Noticiero Nacional Deportivo (NND).

En un amplio informe cuestionó “si es realmente esa fórmula la solución para estar a la vanguardia en el deporte o si ella convierte a países que la practican en reales potencias deportivas”.

Los “chinos” de RD Estos espacios deportivos especializados coinciden en que “la aparición del chino Liu Song como representante de Argentina en el Tenis de Mesa de los Juegos Panamericanos de Winnipeg (Canadá, 1999), resultó el primer aviso de la expansión de este fenómeno en los países de América Latina”.

“Las competencias de tenis de mesa en los Juegos Panamericanos de Santo Domingo 2003 presentaron, como por arte de magia, nombres tan ‘latinos’ como Nieves Xue Wu, Lian Quian y Luis Lin Ju, en la representación del país sede”, dice por su parte “Trabajadores”.

Destaca además que los chinos también dominaron esa disciplina en los Juegos Centroamericanos y del Caribe de 2006, celebrados en Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

Otras publicaciones destacan que “recientemente naciones como Chile y Costa Rica influidas por el caso dominicano y los precedentes norteamericanos (de Estados Unidos y Canadá), han abogado abiertamente por la nacionalización de ‘pimponistas’ (jugadores de tenis de mesa) y arqueros asiáticos para no quedarse detrás de la tendencia deportiva mundial.” Attribution as above, Listin Diario, 1/23/07.

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Jeff Erickson to resume Fantasy Focus on XM on Feb. 5!!!

I heard the promo today on XM and couldn't believe it--maybe it's just a cruel hoax. There's no guest or expert on any subject on XM who has more knowledge than Jeff Erickson. Anyhow, welcome back, Jeff. We can't wait--fantasy and regular people alike.
  • Update: Charley Steiner informs us Erin Erickson arrived about a week ago. This is great news, not least because we'll have another listener to Fantasy Focus.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Hartford Courant slashes sports section, answers readers

"Sports Editor Jeff Otterbein explained to those who e-mailed and called that "when making choices of what to cut out of the Sports section, we were faced with a big challenge. We needed to cut the equivalent of one-half to two-thirds of a page each day. Something had to give.
  • "Part of the reason we cut out what we did is because we wanted to keep content that is special to The Courant, from our coverage of high schools to UConn to other state colleges to the Patriots, Giants, Yankees, Red Sox, Wolf Pack, golf, auto racing, Connecticut Sun. And we still do provide coverage of the NBA and NHL, from columns and features to nightly roundups."
Otterbein assured that baseball box scores will be in the newspaper. He also said that the NHL and NBA box scores will return for the playoffs. The cuts will be re-evaluated next season, although Otterbein said he could not offer guarantees.
  • "It is indicative of what appears to be a wholesale diminution of sports coverage," Jay Sicklick of Farmington wrote. "But I suppose this is merely another example of the eradication of the newspaper's infrastructure, something your parent company has become quite adept at over the past several years. The paper still toils without a political columnist since Michele Jacklin's departure.
"I find it ironic that The Courant continues to trumpet Hartford and the region as a `major league' player and advocates for the addition of significant cultural and sporting venues and attractions while simultaneously reducing the quality of its own product to a `minor league' venture. ...
  • In an age where the print media is fighting to remain relevant and viable, The Courant appears to be doing everything it can to declare its irrelevance." "
From Hartford Courant article by Karen Hunter, 1/21/07, via Romenesko/Poynter.org
  • 'La de da, la de da, la la...' from the movie, Annie Hall

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Barf Alert---Paris Hilton, I mean Ripken still hogging the limelight--now said to be in the HUMAN BEING HALL OF FAME.."

"Hall of Famer Ripken Would Be In The 'Human Being Hall Of Fame' If There Was One " is the headline tonight on Jockreport.com 1/21/07.
  • As I posted on Jan. 17 on this blog, Ripken will not go gracefully. If there's 1 guy who needs no help from the media it's Ripken. But, JockReport is oblivious. They link to a newspaper column being schmaltzy and insane.

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"Dweeb of the Week"---MLB doing the Cha-Cha with DirecTV--NY Daily News

"Dweeb of the Week

Major League Baseball

For continuing to negotiate a deal that will pull its "Extra Innings" package off cable and make it exclusive property of DirecTV.
  • While MLB's intent is to extract more dough from a satellite provider, any move off cable will shaft loyal fans who subscribed to "Extra Innings."
Also, it is likely "Extra Innings" on cable reached a broader fan base than it will on DirecTV.
  • This is just another example of MLB saying it is working in the best interest of fans before turning around and selling them out."

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Will the new Yankee Stadium provide a mosque for Islamic attendees?

The Chicago Tribune had the following report: (Hint--Islam is taking over your sports arenas--not Christian or Jewish prayer rooms--that would be "insensitive"):

"As the Ohio State Buckeyes pummeled the Northwestern Wildcats on Ryan Field last November, senior Amir Siddiqui and his friends slipped below the bleachers, removed their shoes and knelt on pieces of poster board to pray.

As the sea of purple cheered and jeered above, Siddiqui tuned out the world around him to perform salaat, the Islamic ritual prayer that faithful Muslims recite five times daily.

Siddiqui will do the same in Welsh-Ryan Arena next week when the Buckeyes basketball team goes up against the Wildcats. But rather than pray amid raucous crowds, some Muslim students are pressing Northwestern’s athletic department to set aside a secluded space for the ritual, or grant them permission to come and go from the arena before the buzzer.

“If we attend the game in its entirety, we would miss one of our five daily prayers,” said Siddiqui, president of the Muslim cultural Student Association. “I can leave the game early, come later, or pray somewhere in the stadium on dirty floors with lots of noise and lots of people around, which isn’t a huge problem. But we’d love to have a small area.”

I read this report from the Chicago Tribune on Friday, 1/19/07, but have been unable to find it again on their website. The above from the Tribune is from Little Green Footballs. Mosques have to be in special places--don't just hand them anything. As in Athens, Greece (for you globalists): "However, the new proposed location -- a former navy base -- remains questionable. The area also has been earmarked for a new football stadium,
  • and some argue that placing the mosque so close to the organised violence of Greek football is unwise." Tsk Tsk.
But you don't care. The US has been feminized, which is why no one has to fight us. You roll over. I'll bet $5 that in your lifetime, you'll see an American Baseball game stopped for Islamic prayer. Why? There's absolutely no one willing to say no to it.

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Only 2 choices left for union re: 2003 player ID's--NY Times

The players union is down to 2 options on the 2003 drug test identities per Murray Chass in the NY Times:

"The players union continues to reviews its options on the appellate court decision that enables the government to retain the results and identities of the 104 players who tested positive for steroids use in 2003.

“We still have time to make a decision; we’re still doing research,” said Donald Fehr, the union chief.

The union primarily has two avenues of appeal of the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. It can ask the court to rehear the case before a 15-judge panel, or it can appeal directly to the Supreme Court. Fehr didn’t say if the union was leaning in either direction, but the feeling here is it will go back to the Ninth Circuit and ask for a rehearing.

The court has 26 judges, 2 short of a full house, and 14 of the judges would have to vote to accept the case for rehearing by 15 judges. A 2-to-1 decision last month overturned three lower-court decisions that went in the union’s favor."

From article by Murray Chass, NY Times, 1/21/07

  • Entirely aside from the above, the union could rightfully be sued by its member players for failure to follow agreed upon procedures on the 2003 tests. Was it negligence, hubris, or just the haze of socialism that eventually reduces all of us to hopelessness? sm

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Oh, goody, another "fist-pumper"--that's supposed to be good, right?

"He was very aggressive on the mound,” Schoenrock said with a chuckle (speaking of kicker Adam Vinatieri's replacement on the Patriots of his days as a college pitcher):
  • He wasn’t afraid to shoot someone down or pump his fist after a strikeout. He’d let you know it."
  • "He was like Pap (Papelbon) that way - a fist pumper, no question.”"
Batters were just seeing him for the first time--he never fought in a single pennant race, nor a single elimination game in the post season going 2 or 3 consecutive scoreless innings. Never. After seeing him for 5, 10, or 12 years--how many more homeruns would he be giving up? Papelbon might've given up more than you can live with from a late inning stopper. More fly ball outs than grounders. I'd be happy to have the guy, just don't misrepresent the facts. Don't say anyone's "the best" after half a season.
  • They bought the "FIST-PUMP," a characteristic Goose Gossage pointed out about another late inning reliever (whose success in that role was mostly single innings in the regular season), Dennis Eckersley.
Item about the new Patriots' kicker from an article in the Boston Herald by John Tomase, 1/20/07 about the recent replacement for Adam Vinatieri. The tie-in is the new kicker had the same college baseball coach as Papelbon.
  • Oh, and as a pitcher, this new kicker had lots of hit batsmen the article says, and the coach thought that really meant the guy was great.
As a point of interest, following are 3 recent comparisons of Adam Vinatieri to MARIANO RIVERA---no "fist pumps"---from USA Today, the Hartford Courant, and Mike Maniscalco:
  • "He is the Mariano Rivera of pro football and gives Manning and his coach the same peace of mind the New York Yankees phenomenal reliever provides to manager Joe Torre. Vinatieri has 19 career game-winning kicks and owns a postseason-record 34 field goals, breaking the record of 32 held by Gary Anderson."
  • Vinatieri eases the pressure quarterback Peyton Manning has felt the last few years, trying to carry the Colts to a Super Bowl on his back.
Now that dynamic is altered. Vinatieri was not only the biggest difference-maker for these Colts, scoring all their points against the Ravens,
  • but he could make all the difference in their bid to cross the Super Bowl threshold."
From USA Today article by Jim Corbett, "Money Well Spent, VINATIERI GIVES COLTS NEW DYNAMIC AS POST SEASON THREAT," 1/18/07
  • 2. "Vinatieri, the MARIANO RIVERA OF FOOTBALL..."
  • "Vinatieri, the Mariano Rivera of football, will be wearing a helmet with a horseshoe on Sunday."
  • "Vinatieri is the Mariano Rivera of football; when he lines up a kick you know he'll get the job done,
  • maybe that's why Brady has been so cool under fire by knowing he had someone who could close the game for him."
Statement by Mike Maniscalco, 1/17/07, Richmond.com and Sportsradio 910,WRNL, from the paragraph:
  • "Adam Vinatieri might be the most important player in NFL history.
  • If the clutch kicker had been in Indianapolis all these years would we be talking about Peyton Manning as a three-time champion and Tom Brady as a good but not great QB? Vinatieri has already proved his worth by kicking five field goals against Baltimore last week. Vinatieri is the Mariano Rivera of football; when he lines up a kick you know he'll get the job done, maybe that's why Brady has been so cool under fire by knowing he had someone who could close the game for him."

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"Major League Baseball is close to announcing a deal that will place its Extra Innings package of out-of-market games exclusively on DirecTV, which will also become the only carrier of a long-planned 24-hour baseball channel.

Extra Innings has been available to 75 million cable households and the two satellite services, DirecTV and the Dish Network.

  • But the new agreement will take it off cable and Dish because DirecTV has agreed to pay $700 million over seven years, according to three executives briefed on the details of the contract but not authorized to speak about them publicly.

InDemand, which has distributed Extra Innings to the cable television industry since 2002, made an estimated $70 million bid to renew its rights, more than triple what it has been paying. Part of its offer included the right to carry the new baseball channel, but not exclusively.

The baseball channel is scheduled to start in 2009.

M.L.B., DirecTV and InDemand officials declined to comment.

Extra Innings (has) about 750,000, according to The Sports Business Journal.

Extra Innings lets subscribers, for a fee, watch about 60 games a week from other local markets except their own.

  • The only other way that fans without DirecTV will be able to see Extra Innings will be on MLB.com’s mlb.tv service, but they must have high-speed broadband service. About 28 million homes have high-speed service, less than half the number of cable homes in the country. The picture quality of streamed games is not as good as what is available on cable or satellite.

DirecTV is available to about 15 million subscribers.

  • Last month, Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, who was then the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, cited DirecTV’s exclusivity with Sunday Ticket as a reason to strip the N.F.L. of an antitrust exemption to negotiate all TV contracts for its teams. Comcast, which has complained that it cannot carry Sunday Ticket, is a Philadelphia-based company."
From the NY Times article by Richard Sandomir, 1/20/07, "Extra Innings Exclusively on Direct TV"
  • I posted about this move on 1/3/07--it had been little noticed at the end of December. I related in detail elsewhere my horrible experience with Direct TV. No one gave a crap, so I guess you all like being beaten, robbed, and ridiculed. (sm) Have a nice day.
UPDATE: In a 1/28/07 column by NY Daily News' Bob Raissman (posted above), he says the currently non-existent "Baseball Channel" weighed in much of this deal: it's thought DirecTV will offer this crazy channel on "Basic Tier," as opposed to a "Sports Tier," thus enabling MLB, Incorporated to get a fee for every subscriber.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Doherty of Mamas and Papas dies

Denny Doherty, from the 60s folk-pop group the Mamas and the Papas, has died aged 66 in Mississauga, Canada.
  • The Mamas and the Papas shot to fame in the late 1960s with hits California Dreamin' and Monday, Monday.

The group also featured chief songwriter John Phillips, his wife Michelle and female vocalist "Mama Cass" Elliot.

Denny Doherty was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 29 November 1940.

He was already well established on the folk music scene when he joined the Mamas and the Papas on their formation in 1965.

The group recorded four albums before breaking-up in 1969.

  • Michelle Phillips is the only surviving member of the Mamas and the Papas.
BBC, 1/19/07

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Wall St. Journal Online now 4th biggest, ahead of Wash. Post and LA Times--Instapundit

"People in the newspaper business seem awfully gloomy about the future right now, and with reason. But there's one bright spot: The Wall Street Journal's publisher Gordon Crovitz, who describes himself as
  • "the last person in the country with 'newspaper publisher' in his title who nonetheless is an optimist."

We'll talk about why he's optimistic, about how the Wall Street Journal's online edition came to be the fourth biggest newspaper in the country -- bigger than the Washington Post or the L.A. Times -- and how newspapers, and newspaper publishers, should be adapting to the new era.

from Instapundit, 1/19/07, via Romenesko/poynter.org

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Red Sox encourage decayed, biased BBWAA awards

Strangely confident in a demonstrably corrupt voting system, and less concerned for their team and possible health risk to a star pitcher, the Red Sox wrote into Matsuzaka's contract:
  • "Daisuke Matsuzaka's six-year, $52 million contract with the Red Sox reportedly includes up to an additional
    • $8 million in incentives based on Cy Young and MVP award voting."
This item, 12/14/06 from USA Today They credit ESPN.com. As I've noted countless times on this blog, it must be nice to pitch for a team that believes individual awards are so much more important than what might be needed for a team in the stretch AND ESPECIALLY IN THE POST SEASON, WHICH ISN'T CONSIDERED IN CY YOUNG OR MVP VOTING.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Web newspaper blog traffic triples in Dec.--Neilsen

NEW YORK, Jan 17 (Reuters) - The number of people reading Internet blogs on the top 10 U.S. newspaper sites more than tripled in December from a year ago and accounted for a larger percentage of overall traffic to those sites, according to data released on Wednesday.

Unique visitors to blog sites affiliated with the largest Internet newspapers rose to 3.8 million in December 2006 from 1.2 million viewers a year earlier, tracking firm Nielsen//NetRatings said.

  • U.S. news organizations are increasingly calling on their reporters and editors to write news blogs and compete with the expanding Internet format for informal analysis and opinion.

via Romenesko/Poynter.org

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Is DiGiovanna friends with K-rod's agent?

On Dec. 5, 2006, the LA Times reported the Red Sox wanted K-rod: "(Bill) Stoneman also met Monday night with Boston General Manager Theo Epstein, revisiting trade talks that have heated up periodically between the teams over the last two years, but the chances for a deal now seem remote. So, 6 weeks ago the Red Sox were discussing a trade for Angels' pitcher Francisco Rodriguez. (They didn't have a late inning stopper and still don't). Now, the same LA Times copywriter--using standard passive language with no human being connected--says the Yankees are interested in Francisco--how does he know? Who said so? K-rod is elite, but with among other things his violent delivery, DiGiovanna sensationally floats that beginning in 2009, assuming the guy's still pitching then, the Yankees will sign him through 2012 or 2013? You pay money for this kind of manipulation, so you must like it.
  • "With Mariano Rivera nearing retirement in New York, the Yankees are already eyeing Francisco Rodriguez as a potential replacement." from the LA Times, 1/17/07 Really?
This copywriter (Mike DiGiovanna) gets money for words he puts out, plus personal aggrandizement and possibly enhanced career prospects. And SI.com puts his Yankee story at the top of their list. Still, no human being attached to any of it except the paid copywriter, DiGiovanna from the LA Times.
  • If something is "said to be," it doesn't mean anything. Who "said" it? Does the 'United Brotherhood of Up Yours Baseball Media' think you deserve to know? No--it starts with a west coast newspaper one day, and by the end of the day, SI repeats this "said to be" info as the opening salvo of the SI baseball news items--. Did the great SI find this out as it appears at first glance? No, they credit the LA Times for the bombshell news, ie such and such is "said to be." Possibilities: No one said it, the copywriter imagined it.
The agent of a player made the suggestion to enhance the image of his client. Another copywriter said he heard a rumor from someone-- The Yankees? Right, Yankee management suggested this, even though it's against their interests to do so. Others:
Los Angeles Times - 01/17 - 12:37 PM EST
With Mariano Rivera nearing retirement in New York, the Yankees are already said to be eyeing Francisco Rodriguez as a potential replacement. (From RealGMBaseball.com)
  • Spreading like wildfire,
"According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, one of the biggest priorities for the Angels this offseason will be locking up closer Francisco Rodriguez to a long-term deal. K-Rod is due for free agency after the '08 season, and the Yankees are already said to be eyeing him up as the heir to Mariano Rivera." posted on MLB Trade Rumors
For many years the voting members of the BBWAA have predicted Mariano Rivera was at the end of the road--this is more of the same. HOWEVER! One of the sites passing the LA Times guy's power play adds this about DiGiovanna's protagonist:
  • "He's showing the best command of his career, though the side effect is that he's got the worst hit rate of his career. Still, 6.5 hits per nine is pretty damn good. It's also apparent that Rodriguez is allowing more flyballs than ever. Probably not a big deal, as his home run rate remains solid." Adding,

"The elephant in the room, at least in my mind, is Rodriguez's delivery. Said Will Carroll in February:

"It's incredibly hard to predict player injuries, though if you were going to put money on anyone's elbow blowing up, the safe bet would be on K-Rod. There's almost nothing mechanically right with his delivery and he showed all sorts of indicators last year with a tender elbow, a forearm strain, and an obvious difficulty throwing his fastball.""

  • The AP amazingly with great self-discipline, was able to write the story about K-rod and Shields WITHOUT MENTIONING EITHER MARIANO RIVERA OR THE YANKEES:
Associated Press
"Unable to land multi-year deals with pitchers Francisco Rodriguez and Scot Shields, the Angels instead signed both to one-year deals Tuesday."

"Rodriguez's deal was the biggest of the bunch as the major-league leader in saves (47) last season came to terms on a $7 million contract.

Shields signed a one-year deal worth $3.4 million, a $1.3 million raise from last season.

GM Bill Stoneman was not disappointed that multi-year deals with Rodriguez and Shields did not get done.

"We had interest in discussing multi-year deals and I don't think that interest is diminished," Stoneman said. "With the arbitration rules, if you can't agree on one type of contract you have to head for one year. We knocked those off and at least got the one-year deals done without having to involve an arbitrator."

- Doug Padilla"

You're free to have whatever bias you wish, and I'm free to know what it is. (sm)

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Ripken, the fat Paris Hilton of baseball

Ripken was already overexposed in any area of life. He's like glue running over the planet, trying to plug up every available space. It's rude, it's offensive. No one has the right to invade every waking minute of my day, but this creepy individual honestly believes EVERYONES' eyes and ears belong to him.
  • He's all over radio and television either as a "personality" or hawking something. He's Mr. Media. Which should be something different than being a baseball player. He's apparently infected my government as well, getting some pork from taxpayers for his personal projects. They may be good projects, but it's all about him, a constant shameless grab for public money and attention.
He incessantly drips throughout XM Radio of course. The payoff: HE'S BORING. He's not a broadcaster. He has a raspy boring voice, is a boring speaker, and has nothing to say. The worst is yet to come--he has a brother he's foisted on XM listeners who's even more tedious, boring and has even less talent. But the brother wants to make money, so like Cal, he tries to get it from you and me by INCESSANTLY GRABBING MEDIA ATTENTION. Government, media, now talking about buying a team, perhaps the Orioles.
  • At the end of his playing days he was disgusting as well, caring not for the team, making everything revolve around him. How could anyone stand a selfish creep like this? The truth is he was a horrible nightmare even then, caring only for COMPILING his own stats. ALL RIPKEN HAS EVER BEEN ABOUT IS PUBLICITY & MEDIA. JUST BECAUSE YOU WERE GOOD AT BASEBALL DOESN'T ENTITLE YOU TO INVADE EVERY DAY OF THE REST OF MY LIFE.
  • And, Jesus, Peter Schmuck, writer and WBAL radio pal, Yankee fans don't care about Ripken. I NEVER think of Lou Gehrig in conjuction with Ripken, his nickname, his memorabilia, etc. There's no connection, Pete. We're not going to Cooperstown to celebrate by some faint association with Gehrig, as you once posited. Ripken is an infestation, a ballplayer who couldn't just enjoy the public attention that naturally came his way. He hogged it, he greedily has put his dull, boring, paws into everything along with his grasping, idiotic brother. Please take a trip to a foreign country both of you.
When I drive on I95 near Baltimore, I start crying, as I'm forced to see highway signage with his name on it. If I close my eyes, I'll crash the car and certainly die but that might be a better choice. A couple of years ago, I'd hear some Oriole's radio broadcasts where the first commercial in a break was a long sappy, boring song which I couldn't even understand for months. Finally it dawned on my that the lyric was, "the Ripken yearrrrrrrsssssss................." by a lush-voiced vocal group. The first spot in a commercial break wasted on this kind of crap? That happens to be the most valuable commercial time in the game, and to think a retired ballplayer would even allow his former team to waste this key time on his giant ego, when it could be developing revenue and relationships with other advertisers is stunningly sick to me. Who are all the spineless media people handing him these platforms? STOP.
  • He was extremely over hyped many years ago. Neither he nor his brother should be allowed on any radio station for at least 10 years. I've recently cut back a lot of radio listening if I think there's a chance I'd have to hear anything by or about these 2.

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