Saturday, June 30, 2007

BBWAA still obsessed with watching athletes undress

"Access, seating and internet rights are the main issues facing the writers groups around the country.

The APSE's Writers Liaison Committee, which works with writers groups around the country, has issued its first report on these groups in two years."

Baseball Writers Assn. of America report to APSE: (posted 6/6/07 on the APSE website)

"APSE liaison: Chuck Scott, San Diego Union-Tribune.

Association address: P.O. Box 610611, Bayside, NY 11361

President: Paul Hoynes, Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7107 Briarcliff, Mentor, OH 44060. Home: (440) 354-4834. Office: (216) 999-4370. Cell: (216) 409-7853. E-mail: phrug14@aol.com.

Vice President: Bob Dutton, Kansas City Star, 4513 Craig Ave., Grandview, MO 64030. Home: (816) 234-4352. E-mail: bdutton@aol.com.

Secretary-Treasurer: Jack O'Connell, BBWAA, 39-12 211th St., Apt. 3, Bayside, NY 11361. Phone: (718) 767-2582. Cell: (631) 236-2648. E-mail: bbwaa@aol.com.

Board of Directors: Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times; Jose de Jesus Ortiz, Houston Chronicle; Peter Schmuck, Baltimore Sun; Dave Van Dyck, Chicago Tribune.

Annual meetings: Thrice a year, held at the All-Star Game, World Series and Winter Meetings (the officers are elected at the World Series).

Membership: About 800 (baseball writers, sports editors, columnists, etc., who cover baseball).

Dues: $65 (plus local dues, which vary).

Are Internet reports allowed? No, but 10-year members in the organization retain their card and Hall of Fame voting privileges after they leave newspapers. Those BBWAA members, however, are subject to the club's regulations concerning their type of news outlet.

Concerns and issues: Access to players and club officials, credentialing. Commissioner Bud Selig meets with BBWAA members only (no other media outlets) for a private Q&A each year at the site of the All-Star Game. Access Committee of Murray Chass (New York Times), Dan Graziano (Newark Star Ledger) and Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune) had off-season meetings with MLB and MLPA officials to explain importance of clubhouse access for BBWAA members.

Financial contracts: None.

Activities: Voting on BBWAA awards – Most Valuable Player, Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and Manager of the Year each season – and voting on players eligible for the baseball Hall of Fame. The BBWAA also compiles a Hall of Fame Veterans Committee ballot that goes out to living Hall of Fame members, Frick Award winners and Spink Award winners for the election every other year for players and every four years for executives/managers/umpires. The BBWAA's Hall of Fame election was announced Tuesday, Jan. 9.

Writing contests: None."

(The above was posted on the APSE website 6/6/07).

Very important...more awards. When you finally sacrifice all to be a BBWAA member, you yourself have to be awarded the plum posts like BBWAA officers; then you try to get enough votes for yourself to be an officer of the Baseball Hall of Fame--on your own way to immortalilty in the Writers' wing of the Baseball HOF (who cares about the actual players). So you see the BBWAA is a constant stream of political appointments and rewards. If you don't carry the 'thought police' water, you don't advance. (Sorry).

  • The final nail in the coffin for the always chastened and empty-pocketed Yankee fan is the incessant negative media wherever a fan's attention is unfortunate enough to light for a moment. New York media bias? The duplicity and hatred of Dan Graziano and his chairmanship of the NY chapter of the BBWAA (documented) is the passive Yankee fan's final reward.*
The owners have become even richer with the revenue sharing and luxury tax dollars of the Yankee fan. As the team crumbles, no one watches on TV, the money goes away. That's the good part for the Yankee fan. At least we won't be giving our money to the idiot sons anymore.
  • *"The annual BBWAA awards dinner isn’t until Jan. 28. But the New York chapter hosted a dinner at Yankee Stadium last night to roast outgoing chairman Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record. It was a fun night hosted by new chairman Dan Graziano of the Star-Ledger." posted 1/19/07 by Peter Abraham on his Lohud Yankee blog.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

For those who like "All-Time" stats, here are interleague

"Interleague’s all-time statistical leaders include Michael Young with a .347 batting average; Derek Jeter with 254 hits; Jim Thome with 53 home runs; Manny Ramirez with 139 RBI; Mike Mussina with 20 wins; Johan Santana with a 2.27 ERA; and Mariano Rivera with 51 saves."

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Detroit has 5 of top 15 zip codes in home foreclosures

This made me wonder if fans and bankers were in a rush to see the great baseball in Detroit.
  • "Detroit has five of the top 15 zip codes in the country for home foreclosures. Cleveland and Denver also have more than one zip code in the top 15 worst zips. CNNMoney.com explains:

More than a quarter of all leading foreclosure zip codes are in California, but many of the worst-hit zip codes are in the Midwest. Ohio has 49 zip codes in the top 500, trailing only California and Florida, which has 72.

Michigan has 34, including four in the top 10. All of them are within Detroit city limits."

(The article also states overall foreclosure numbers are increasing in sun-belt areas like California and Florida.)

Via Poynter.org/Romenesko, 6/25/07

The report doesn't mention the time frame of the foreclosures. Perhaps it's year-to-date.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Australian senator suggests drug tests for politicians as well as sport figures

Australian suggests for members of parliament, courtroom judges and lawyers:

  • "Senator Heffernan was inspired to make his call by former addict and junior rugby star Darren Marton, who told his story of redemption at Parliament House on Thursday.

Marton is leading the No Way anti-drugs campaign in sport, as Government ministers lock horns with football executives over their push for a policy of zero tolerance of drugs in sport.

  • The controversial senator insisted he had never seen any evidence of illegal drug-taking in Federal Parliament.

But he believed random drug testing of politicians would be important to act as a deterrent and send a message "that we are fair dinkum serious about stamping out drug use".

  • "We're drug testing our role models and people who have people's lives in their hands like pilots, train drivers, police. It is unacceptable for decision makers to put themselves above the law." When he raised his idea with the Prime Minister, Mr Howard said if he thought there was a problem he would do something about it."
From The Sydney (Aust.) Morning Herald, 6/23/07, by Kerry-Anne Walsh, "MP's Should be Drug Tested: Heffernan"

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Midsummer Biz Opp. as Allen H. (Bud) counts down...Raissman

NY Daily News' Bob Raissman notes the upcoming All-Star game and hype:

  • "It is a complete made-for-TV farce.

Once called the Midsummer Classic, the All-Star Game is a shlocked-up bazaar - a series of promotions serving as a platform for major corporations, MLB's corporate partners, to market their products.

  • All-Star baseball is just an excuse for MLB to cater to its business partners. You want "overkill"? Just look at the All-Star Home Run Derby, which was created for the sake of ESPN. And remember, Bud (Nutty Professor) Selig and the Players Association sold out to Fox, mandating the game be played for World Series home-field advantage, after the Foxies whined over lousy All-Star ratings.
Then they all tried conning the public into believing this was all about putting meaning back into the All-Star Game."

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Mr. Steinbrenner, new players from China...the last thing this team needs.

There is no Yankee organization, no concept of the heyday the all-powerful media has, its impact on the players and the fans. You are a joke, Brian Cashman, Randy Levine and the rest. You've allowed the media to incorrectly define this team for years, to falsify vital information related to post-season awards, etc., without blinking. Since you refuse to pay attention, maybe your sponsors will. P.S. WHAT HAPPENED TO IMUS DID SO EASILY FOR 2 MAIN REASONS:
The same 2 items have already brought irreparable harm to certain Yankee players (other than Giambi). There are managers at the Yankees, but no one who realizes what's going on today. Congratulations once again to the internet bilemasters--while others sleep, you burn.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Left and Right Agree: "Talk Radio is the Problem"

Those of you on the Left refuse to get a new enemy--the political "Right" is completely on your side now on most issues. Even talk radio is seen as the scourge of civilization by both of you. Trent Lott tells the NY Times, 6/15/07:
  • "“Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem.”
Having failed at numerous attempts at talk radio, the Left agrees:
  • "Report: The Right Wing Domination of Talk Radio and How to End It," 6/20/07.
The so-called Right-wing Republican's comment from the NY Times, 6/15/07, "Senate Leaders Agree to Revive Immigration Bill." Content is hard. We listen not because someone spews invective in one direction or other but because he can back up what he says with facts. The Left and the former Right intensely dislike facts and direct access to government by the people. (The Left uses the courts to bypass the people). Or at least, as with the baseball media, they want you to have THEIR VERSION of the facts hoping you're too passive, out of time or stupid to ascertain the truth. All that's lost is lifetimes of work and sacrifice. That's my experience as a long-time talk radio listener.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hate mongers set the tone on baseball websites

The lowest form of humanity on baseball blogs isn't unique--I posted "Beware the Bloggers' Bile" by Joe Klein of Time, Inc. here on 6/7/07; and "Hate Mongers Taking Over Websites" from Washington Post.com here on 5/15/07. You people have won, long ago, in every venue you populate. Congratulations. It worked. You've altered history in many cases. After 12 very long years of work, a quiet man with an even quieter agent had an article written about him on a website that makes little or no difference to anyone, and by someone who threatens no one in terms of authority. The fact that this pitcher had a syrupy yet otherwise inconsequential article written about him absolutely enraged the chain of command--ie those who set the negative tone on baseball blogs:
I'm glad I read this. I've been trying unsuccessfully to lose weight. After vomiting, I'm already down 1/2 lb. If I read this article once a day for 90 days, I'll be back down to the weight I was when I was 30 and in very good shape."
  • The article about Mariano Rivera was posted to Baseball Think Factory at 9:32AM, and by 9:49AM, the first poster suggested the article would enable him to 'VOMIT' for 90 days. I've described the article--it won't change anyone's mind about Rivera, open anyone's mind, or inform anyone. It was just an article on the website of the TV network that carries the Yankees. It wasn't an ESPN or MLB "poll" extolling the guy--they couldn't handle the mob emailers if that ever happened. It was just a gross enough image to destroy anything good that might have come from the article.
  • By the way, even at Baseball Think Factory many posters would probably agree that Curt Schilling has more knowledge about current pitchers than they do. Seeing what Schilling wrote about Mariano Rivera on his blog 38Pitches.com might have sent some of them to the toilet. Reality is tough:
On 5/25/07 Schilling posted that Rivera in his opinion "is the best closer of all time." (I posted his remarks here on 5/26/07).
  • On 3/27/07, Schilling said on his blog that Rivera was "incredibly underrated," which I posted here on 5/21/07.
Which is why I said you people won. People actually in the game wouldn't agree with you, but you control the media. The average person--either due to passivity or lack of time--isn't going to do anything about it.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Remember when the Yankees were trying to dump Posada?

Was reminded of those days in 2005 browsing on the fine nj.com website--they were desperate to get Benjie Molina BUT COULDN'T FIND ANYONE TO TAKE POSADA OFF THEIR HANDS.....
  • On 11/9/05:
"The Daily News reports that though moving Jorge Posada to first could also be an option, Cashman would prefer to trade the catcher and his hefty contract. The team hasn't been able to find any takers, mostly due to the way Posada's deal is structured. Posada is still one of the more productive catchers in the big leagues. The problem is the combination of how much his production costs, and the fact that it is only likely to decline as Posada gets older. The Daily News delves into his contract details:
  • "But assuming they're unable to find a deal, the Bombers may be stuck with Posada. The Yanks would be able to pay him a $4 million buyout after next season if he doesn't start 330 games at catcher between 2004-06, but he's already at 249; making matters worse, if Posada reaches that plateau and 2007 becomes guaranteed, then Posada receives a player option for 2008.""
And on 11/28/06, nj.com notes about Posada:
  • "One very interesting note is Jon Heyman's miscellany that indicates how the Yankees were more than willing to trade Jorge Posada and then sign Bengie Molina, but encountering no takers for Posada ended that process."
Items from nj.com/weblogs/Yankees, 11/05
  • P.S. Posada probably remembers.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Scott Boras is my new hero. There's no "debate"--they want you to think there is one so you'll visit their sites

The condescending phony of the year, Jayson Stark, ultra ESPN person gets a pass. Because most who care enough about the subject would probably like to work for ESPN or a baseball team, or would somehow like to derive income from an association. He sells it (his recent "book") as another "great debate"--you give your time and attention, but have no vote on any baseball awards and don't broadcast your views to millions year in and year out WITH MILLIONS OF DOLLARS AT STAKE.

  • The one saving grace--Scott Boras--is the first person of consequence to take a shot at a baseball awards voter. Boras took issue with Stark's portrayal of a player who happens to be a Boras client.

Stark's little email to Dave O'Brien regarding his boiler plate book--they all write books and magazine articles about the 50 best or worst fill in the blank. WHO IS HE TO JUDGE? WHO HAS VETTED ANY ESPN VOTER? The current baseball empire exists only because GOOD PEOPLE HAVE KEPT THEIR MOUTHS SHUT.

Jayson confirms his phony "debate" goal in his email to Dave O'Brien's BravesBlog, 6/14/07--in other words, you talk AND HAVE NO VOTE AND WASTE YOUR TIME. He'll just vote.:

. "This book is about perception. It’s about one of the great debates in sports - who’s overrated, who’s underrated. So we’re SUPPOSED to disagree.

I’ve said from the beginning that this book wasn’t intended to settle any debates about these players. But it looks as if it has STARTED about 100,000 debates. And that was the whole idea."

From Dave O'Brien's Braves blog @ ajc

A commenter on BravesBlog after reading Stark's email to O'Brien sees the "debate" joke:

By Chop Chop

June 14, 2007 8:17 PM | Link to this

DOB, some of Stark’s stuff isn’t posted properly in the blog. It’s probably just as well. His “Rumblings and Grumblings” stuff is alright, but he’s no Gammons or Olney. If Jayson Stark were a little smarter (and didn’t want to sell books…excuse me…cause debate), he’d just make the argument that Andruw’s getting older. To me, it’s Andruw’s inconsistency at the plate that makes him overrated .

There's more to be said about this story, which I'll address when I have more time.

***ADDENDUM: Jayson Stark's comments have more context if you consider the following:

  • In 2005, Andruw Jones and Albert Pujols were up for NL MVP and the race was considered close. The Atlanta Journal Constitution does not allow its employees to vote on Cy Young or MVP baseball awards, as is the case with more and more news organizations. 2 voters were needed from the Atlanta market, so one was obtained from a regional news organization. The 2nd voter was appointed from outside the Atlanta market. The appointee was Jayson Stark and he voted for Pujols. This of course was cause for some controversy. I believe it was the first time the BBWAA had used someone who at the time was not with a newspaper, ie Stark was considered a DotCom writer. As far as ESPN employees voting on post season or "annual" awards, I believe 10 ESPN staffers vote on the Hall of Fame award, but I don't know if any vote on the other post season awards. This addendum was prompted by a commenter who was not aware of Stark's BBWAA voting history.
Addendum: (7/25/07)
  • I recently found a printed copy of a Gordon Wittenmyer article on the BBWAA problem from the St. Paul Pioneer Press on 11/7/05 which confirms the selection of the "Philadelphia writer" as a substitute Atlanta voter. But Wittenmyer says the second "Atlanta" voter was actually selected from the Minneapolis chapter. By his account, Braves players, owners and fans had no voters in the 2005 NL MVP. How many of them know this? I have another document with Jack O'Connell saying that he himself appoints replacement voters. From Wittenmyer's article: "That meant no writer who covered Atlanta's Andruw Jones, one of the top 3 MVP candidates in the NL this year (2005), voted on the award." ("Newspapers Withdrawing from the Voting Process," by Gordon Wittenmyer, Pioneer Press, 11/7/05). Articles relating to these issues are rarely found online, and I'm fortunate to have found and saved some quite awhile ago. (sm)

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Thursday, June 14, 2007


How to eliminate candidates for "Best Closer," eg. 2006 stats (which you'll never hear about on ESPN):
  • If the "Closer" in question doesn't "Finish the Game," (GF) obviously someone else has to. The SVO tells you how many times the manager put the guy in the game. The "Closer" should be able to finish the game in substantial numbers. This is one of several stats where you find out more accurately if you have the better closer or just someone who steps in to record a "save" stat and really hasn't "closed the door," where the team needed to call upon an entirely different person to "finish" the game (GF). Here's a list of actual closers' numbers from 2006, ranking how many GF's the pitcher had above his SVO's:
Pitcher Rank # GF's above SVO's ______________________
  • 1. 23 more-Nathan
  • 2. 22 more-Rivera
  • 3. 22 more-Fuentes
  • 4. 18 more-Ray
  • 5. 15 more-Ryan
  • 6. 14 more-Putz
  • 7. 14 more-Wagner
  • 8. 13 more-Jenks
  • 9. 13 more-Jones
  • 10. 12 more-Otsuka
  • 11. 8 more-Papelbon
  • 12. 7 more-K-rod
  • 13. 7 more-Street
  • 14. 1 less-Hoffman
If you're at the end of this list you may have a "save opportunity" given by a manager, but you haven't earned the "best closer" title by a long shot. This will be ignored by ESPN. Later, I'll address another stat ESPN has worked into the lexicon--the "1-2-3" closer stat, another cosmetic gimmick stat. The cosmetic stats pointedly ignore what people actually in the game realize--there are things like runners on base, multi-inning appearances, late season down the stretch contributions, etc., which are used or ignored by the media depending on whom they want to make disappear.

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Sam Mellinger lumps Schilling's effort in with My Space riff-raff

Mellinger's career choice was to hang out with athletes while they're undressing, so he must know a lot. He has an article about baseball players who've taken to communicating with the public--but not necessarily via Sam or other reporters. Sam says a bunch of these athlete/blogger/internet commodities have screwed it up. I'm pretty sure Mellinger would've checked out Schilling's blog, 38Pitches.com, and therefore would know it bears no resemblance to a My Space personal website.
  • First, the title of Mellinger's article tells you it's about baseball player bloggers. But the subhead goes in a different direction, saying some experienced rocky roads with My Space. The two are usually quite different things. (I understand Mellinger may not be in charge of headlines, but the point is the headlines attempt to get a certain idea or ideas across). Mellinger:
"Misuse of the Internet has generated apologies from Curt Schilling, J.D. Durbin and C.J. Wilson. Others, such as Granderson, Pat Neshek and Kevin Youkilis have been able to avoid trouble while marketing themselves online.

The line between those groups can sometimes be perilous.

Sometimes it makes you wonder if Adam Dunn’s approach to the Internet age — “what’s a blog?” he asks — is the right one for ballplayers. In the meantime, the trouble for some has convinced others to keep their online endeavors as vanilla as postgame clichés."

  • This article doesn't flesh out/reconcile or prove its opening. It gives a mish-mash of dramatically different online uses/personas/purposes by a few unrelated players. Since the writer lumps them all together as internet bloggers who've screwed up/My Space whatevers who've screwed up/ general marketers who might screw up, the lines are blurred. Meaning the guys he discusses are all in the same blur. Why would he want to portray Schilling's blog along with My Space pages? They're not similar.

Because he, Mellinger, thinks a certain way and he hopes you will too. It seems baseball reporters don't get it yet. Things have changed, but they've changed forever. Life will never be the same for baseball reporters. Mellinger seems to hope players will go back to normal and persons like himself will be the gateway for societal perceptions of players. Never again.

Quote from Sam Mellinger's Kansas City Star article, "Baseball Players are Going to the Blogs," 6/10/07

P.S. This may not seem like a big deal, but in today's information age, small things have a way of becoming big things. Especially when speaking about public figures. About that, I say, never again.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

MLB should address "The somewhat archaic notion that newspaper writers are a class apart, deserving of special treatment..." Marchman

On the need for change in the century old system of MLB Baseball coverage, Marchman says:
  • "The problem, such as it is, is that the structure of baseball coverage hasn't really changed in a century. In 1908, baseball writers founded the Baseball Writers Association of America, a trade group that negotiated unified rules for access so that writers could cover the sport. Naturally enough, given the technology of the time, it was a group for and of newspaper reporters, and that hasn't changed since. Because reporters from other news outlets haven't formed comparable groups, one general effect of the system as it stands is that life is easier for newspaper reporters, even those like me who aren't BBWAA members.

If I call a team explaining that I write for The New York Sun, they'll leave a credential at the gate; if I call explaining that I write for a Web site, they'll ask me a few more questions, and some will tell me to buy a ticket.

  • ***After a century, this setup is starting to show its age. ***It's predicated on the somewhat archaic notion that newspaper writers are a class apart, deserving of special treatment others don't receive, because they've been vetted by newspaper editors and thus presumably have qualifications and an audience, and can be held accountable for their coverage.**** If you were designing a system from scratch, I don't think you'd do it this way.

There's no arrangement, for instance, guaranteeing a writer for Baseball Prospectus access to a ballgame, whereas a writer for the Final Call, if he had a BBWAA card, could waltz right in despite working for smaller, less credible outlet. In practice, writers for established online outlets generally won't have problems getting access they legitimately need to, but their arrangements are tenuous and insecure, and that's probably not fair.

Nonetheless, baseball needs to address this issue; leaving it to team PR departments to address on an ad hoc basis is going to leave baseball behind the curve..."

Marchman suggests,

"start hashing out a league-wide policy differentiating reporters on the basis of the work they do, rather than on the basis of where that work is published." *
  • Cameron and Mariotti have needs in common, and they're different from the needs of someone who travels to 81 road games a year and needs to spend hours in the locker room every single day, as well as from those of the proprietor of derekjeteristhecutest.com. Another good idea would be to set out some expectations for online writers who want the sort of access print reporters enjoy.
  • Via Poynter.org/Romenesko
*P.S. The BBWAA's first stated goal is to protect its members' jobs and territory. Long ago needing change in various areas it remains, as the author states, about the same as it was a century ago because other groups did nothing about it.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hate Mongers Taking Over Websites--WashingtonPost.com

I'm re-posting this from May 15:

"You would think Web sites would want to keep the hate-mongers from taking over, but many sites are unwitting enablers. At washingtonpost.com, editors and producers say they struggle to balance transparency against privacy. Until recently, many of the site's posters identified themselves with anonymous Internet handles -- which were the site's default ID. Now, people must enter a "user ID" that appears with their comments.

  • But on the Internet, Mr. anticrat424 is continually elevated to the podium, where he can have his angriest thoughts amplified through cyberspace as often as he wishes. He can call people the vilest names and that hate-mongering, too, will be amplified for all the world to see.
If Web sites required posters to use their real names, while giving the shield of pseudonymity when it's merited, spirited online debate would continue unimpeded.
  • It might even be enhanced by attracting contributors who are turned off today by name calling and worse. Except for the hate-mongers, who wouldn't want that?
These days we want "transparency" in all institutions, even private ones. There's one massive exception -- the Internet."
  • From article by Tom Grubisich, WashingtonPost.com, "Sunshine for the Virtual Town Hall, " 5/14/07 via Poynter.org/Romenesko

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Monday, June 11, 2007


  • From the NY Times, 6/11/07, one feels "hopeless." This article is the best news I've seen all year. With the advent of television and the continuation of live radio, the old style press box is an anachronism.

CHICAGO, June 6 — "The original press box at the 16-year-old U.S. Cellular Field was a fine place to cover a White Sox game. From their nest behind home plate, reporters could easily discern the spin of a curveball or hear the thwack of bat on ball.

But this year, the White Sox gutted it and remade it into the Jim Beam Club, with 200 theater seats and barstools that cost $260 to $315 each; when sold out, the club could generate $4 million or more in revenue.

“We were giving the press the best real estate in the building, slightly elevated behind home plate, which they don’t need,” said Jerry Reinsdorf, the real estate investor who is chairman of the White Sox.

When asked why he moved the press to a much worse vista two levels up and along the first-base and right-field line, Reinsdorf unhesitatingly said, “Financial.”

Reinsdorf is far from unique among team owners looking at the extra money that can be made in arranging, or rearranging, their home facilities to accommodate more luxury suites or club seats.

At the same time, baseball reporters (usually print and radio) have been shifted to higher spots, as in PNC Park in Pittsburgh, or inferior aeries like the one at the year-old Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The Cardinals improved the habitability of the press box before this season as part of renovations needed to play host to the 2009 All-Star Game; the press box is higher than it was in the old Busch Stadium, a design that gives preference to luxury boxes.

“Last year, it was a gulag,” said Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In the Jim Beam Club during the Yankees-White Sox game Wednesday night, the privileged packed the tables in the club’s indoor restaurant to dine on smoked turkey with apricot and pineapple chutney, and bay scallops with orzo.

Pres Harris sat with his two sons in the front row outside, marveling at his good fortune because someone had given him three tickets to the club while he was standing in line at the ballpark to buy reserved seats.

“It’s fantastic,” he said of the view from the front row, which last year was the domain of reporters.

Becky Roppolo, who works for a local steel company, came dressed in a Paul Konerko replica jersey, and was elated that her boss had given her his tickets for the second time. The sweet seat, she said, “kind of spoils you.”

Joe Varan, a real estate investor from Hinsdale, Ill., was in one of the four front-row, center-of-the-club seats that he splits with a friend.

“There’s nothing like this,” said Varan, who then compared the club to the “scout seats” on the field level behind home plate; they cost $220 to $285 each. “You can call the balls and strikes and see the outfield plays develop.”

None of the fans said they much cared that they had displaced reporters who now depend more on TV monitors than they once did. It is a sentiment they share with Reinsdorf.

“It doesn’t matter if Dave van Dyck can see how much the ball breaks,” he said, referring to The Chicago Tribune’s national baseball writer.

Van Dyck said his former view mattered greatly; now he cannot see plays developing or the “full scan of the field.”

“It’s like watching TV from the side,” he added, still irate that the team did not consult reporters about the change."


"Joe Cowley, who covers the White Sox for The Chicago Sun-Times, said he did not mind the view, and he was not surprised about the White Sox’ move. “They sold out the start time to 7-Eleven,” he said, referring to a sponsorship deal with the chain of convenience stores to shift the starting time of night games to 7:11.

In N.B.A. arenas, reporters in some cities have been moved out of earshot of the repartee among players, coaches and referees.

The N.B.A. has left it to the teams to determine whether they would move reporters and where they would put them, while keeping TV broadcasters at scorer’s tables. Brian McIntyre, a league spokesman, said the change was not made because of the weakening influence of newspapers.

“It was strictly a way to get revenue,” he said, “and some people closer to the game.”

But in doing so, said Brian Windhorst, who covers the Cavaliers for The Akron Beacon Journal, the presence of nearby reporters working on deadline “has upset a lot of fans, and there’ve been some, and caused some nasty incidents.”

He added, “We’re trying to do our job, and they’re trying to have fun.”"


"At U.S. Cellular Field, the relocated press box prompted a demand by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America to meet with Commissioner Bud Selig to receive assurances that a similarly drastic change would not occur at other ballparks. (The Kansas City Royals are moving their press box up a level, but still behind home plate, next season.)

“We’re paid to do the job to the best of our ability,” Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune said as he watched Wednesday’s game from high above first base. His new sightline hindered his ability to best describe, with his own eyes, Mark Buehrle’s no-hitter on April 18.

“I just feel hopeless,” he said."

Article from NY Times by Richard Sandomir, 6/11/07, "PRESS BOXES BECOME AN AFTERTHOUGHT."

P.S. This article gives me great validation for what I've done on this blog. The baseball writers need to be separated from their hold on the fortunes of the game, teams, and many individual players. Many who frequent baseball blogs probably side with the old school baseball writers and/or would like to be among them. To me the first priority is to see them as a corrupt political institution.*** After that is accomplished, we can move on.

There are countless examples on this blog. Here are 2: Joe Christensen on XM with Charley Steiner, 9/16/06, said he wouldn't vote for Jeter for MVP "because he's on a team of rich guys getting it done." (Posted on this blog that day).

Mike Vaccaro, The NY Post, Bronx Bias Strikes Jeter

"November 22, 2006 -- MAYBE it's best that Derek Jeter get a preview of what's in store for him across the next 15 years. Maybe it's best that we get it on the record, from a sizable cross-section of the nation's baseball writers, exactly what his perception really is, what his national image really is.

This time, it was an MVP Award, one that he deserved, one that should have his name on it, one that was taken from him primarily because of the team he plays for and the city he plays in. The voters will tell you differently, but know this: If Derek Jeter had the season he had playing for the Minnesota Twins, and if Justin Morneau had the season he had playing for the Yankees, it would be Jeter who would be reserving space on his shelf for the MVP plaque.

But Jeter doesn't play for the Twins. He plays for the Yankees. He plays in New York City. He makes a lot of commercials, and he dates a lot of starlets, and he makes a lot of money, and if you think that doesn't count in the minds of the people who cast these votes, you're a greater believer in the purity of human nature than I am.

  • And here's the thing: This is only the warm-up. Just wait another 15 years or so, when it's time for the same assemblage of writers to size up Jeter's credentials as a Hall of Famer. Just wait, especially, when the arbiters of immortality decide whether Jeter's career merits the honor of a first-ballot selection, or whether they'll force him to endure a few years of consolation phone calls first."

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Friday, June 08, 2007


John Sterling's pick on Yankee radio can come from either team, and tonight it was Mariano Rivera who pitched 2 innings, in a tie game for the win v Pittsburgh at the Stadium. Sterling notes Mo also pitched 1 and 2/3 innings yesterday. MEMO TO ESPN EXPERT & BASEBALL AWARDS VOTER, JOHN DELCOS. PLEASE UPDATE YOUR ABYSMAL FILES OR RESIGN FROM BASEBALL WRITING. IF THE INTERNET "MOB" is out there, you're falling down on the job. SINCE OBVIOUSLY THERE'S NO OVERSIGHT IN THE BBWAA.
  • Delcos on an ESPN "Poll," June 1, 2007 CAMPAIGNING for Trevor Hoffman:
"Unfortunately for Hoffman and other relievers of his era, they are compared to Rivera's body of work in the playoffs. There's no denying Rivera's greatness, but had the Yankees had Hoffman instead, I believe they would have been just as successful.''" -- John Delcos, The Journal News (New York)
  • GET OUT YOUR VIOLINS, FOLKS. Delcos, you'd need at least 2 Trevor Hoffmans or any of these "unfortunate" other relievers whose names you fail to supply, to do what Rivera did in just the past 2 days. Your guy would've been warming the bench--he never pitches more than 1 inning and certainly never pitches multiple innings coming in with runners on base. He did some of that in earlier years, but was able to rest during the long off-season. (Not to mention missing almost the entire season in 2003). If it doesn't mean anything, why doesn't he do what Rivera does? Rivera's pitched 2 saves in 1 day 5 times, if you want to talk about "saves" to the exclusion of everything else. Hoffman's had that "opportunity," has he taken it? He had postseason "opportunities" as well, Delcos. If you look them up, you'll find he just didn't do that well.
John Delcos' elite ESPN/BBWAA mob statement in article/poll by Jerry Crasnick, 6/1/07. The way to stop this: ESPN and Journal News advertisers could withdraw their dollars.
  • P.S. The ESPN/BBWAA voter here cannot come up with enough to support the guy he's supposedly selling. So he goes to Plan B, which is to knock another pitcher. All approved by ESPN.

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Lou Piniella must've done something right.

Wow. Alfonso Soriano has hit 3 homeruns off Lance Cormier in his first 3 at bats tonight.

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ESPN Ombudsman addresses excessive coverage of certain topics

  • ESPN Ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber addresses saturation of certain topics:
"If you want to avoid redundancy on a given day, the only antidote is to limit your viewing.

In fact, ESPN presumes that is what you do. The ESPN research department's analysis of Nielsen data indicates that the average viewer, unlike me and perhaps many of my correspondents, watches ESPN an average of 39 minutes a day.

  • Among male viewers 18-34, average viewing time increases to 49 minutes a day."
The male 18-34 viewer, listener, consumer is buying ESPN the most. Ms. Schreiber has done an outstanding job so far, but I've scaled back my initial enthusiasm. Not because of her efforts, but a realization that nothing will ever change at ESPN. She can get the guys to give quotes, obtain research from them they might not ordinarily do, but nothing substantive will change.
  • Schreiber has a quote here from long-time Boston Globe sports editor now ESPN Sr. VP of News, Vince Doria, on their saturation coverage of Roger Clemens. Doria thinks Clemens is a big story. The excessive Clemens coverage seems to put more "proof" on the side of too much Yankees, but it's really not the case. Boston people are obsessed with Clemens.
New York baseball fans don't care about Clemens in general. New York sports radio station WFAN is a better barometer of what concerns NY baseball fans, and the subject of Clemens was never taken up with enthusiasm there. Francesa earlier in the season said he'd rather lose than have Clemens back, and I agreed. Jed Drake is a Red Sox fan.
  • There's no real competition to balance ESPN's opinions. You'll either be ignored or ridiculed if you attempt to. The Ombudsman does a good job, but it seems her articles are just to educate us, not to empower us to change ESPN.
From Le Anne Schreiber's ESPN Ombudsman column, 6/7/07, ESPN.com, "Fighting 'Tyranny of the Storyline'."

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NY Daily News blew chance to run "Stray-Rod" photos--staffers stunned

2 long-time editors have just been released by the NY Daily News. Staffers saddened, but stunned that honcho who turned down A-rod Toronto photos wasn't axed:

  • "In fact, many rank-and-file staffers were aghast that Ng hadn't suffered, because he had apparently blown a chance to break the story about Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez cavorting around Toronto with another woman.

Sources said Ng felt the photo of Rodriguez with a busty blonde ex-stripper named Joslyn Morse was actually a photo of Rodriguez accompanying his wife, Cynthia. It triggered an uproar when it ran on Page One of The Post on May 30 with the headline, "Stray Rod."

"It was Ng's call and he blew it," said an insider. "That was a flat-out scoop - and nobody sees any ramification there."

Ng had worked at the News in the late 1990s, but left for the Newark Star-Ledger until he was brought back a year ago by Dunn.

"It's safe to say everyone was angry and upset," another insider said of Chang. "This is a class guy, a well-respected guy and a talented guy with three young kids who was just treated very shabbily."

The metro editor's job has been something of a revolving door at the News in recent years, but the source said that in all previous instances, new jobs were found for the long-term veterans.

Some see the shakeup as a last-ditch attempt by Dunn to prove himself to Zuckerman before his contract expires in the fourth quarter of this year.

Dunn didn't return a call from Media Ink.

Jennifer Mauer, a Daily News spokes woman, said, "We're not going to discuss personnel matters.""

From NY Post article by Keith J. Kelly, "Dunn Wrong, News Bounces 2 Editors," 6/8/07

Via Poynter.org/Romenesko

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

."BEWARE THE BLOGGERS' BILE--" Joe Klein, Time, Inc.

  • "But the smart stuff is being drowned out by a fierce, bullying, often witless tone of intolerance that has overtaken the left-wing sector of the blogosphere. Anyone who doesn't move in lockstep with the most extreme voices is savaged and ridiculed..."
(As has also been noted by a WashingtonPost.com writer, and posted here by me on May 15:

"Hate-mongers taking over web sites"---WashingtonPost.com)
  • From Time.com, 6/6/07, "Beware the Bloggers' Bile," by Joe Klein, via Drudge Report
(If it helps you, Klein blames this on the usual liberal whipping post which doesn't exist if they'd only listen---talk radio. But even if you agree with his unsubstantiated claim, you still have to deal with his experience of the internet and its mob negativity).
  • The negative mob doesn't discriminate--it controls baseball blogs as well. Many worthy voices simply say, who needs this? The worthy voices may still communicate with sponsors of ESPN baseball media to inform them of the frauds they're paying for.

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Baseball beats out Democratic debate--AP report 6/7/07

WASHINGTON -- "And the winners of Sunday night's Democratic debate were ... A-Rod and Manny Ramirez.

The debate involving the party's eight White House hopefuls, shown nationally on CNN, was seen in 2.02 million households and drew 2.78 million viewers, according to figures compiled by Nielsen Media Research. The New Hampshire debate was telecast from 7-9 p.m. EDT.

By comparison, the New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox baseball game, which got under way on ESPN at 8 p.m., attracted the most households ever to watch a Sunday night game on the cable network. Tuning in were 3.98 million homes and 5.3 million viewers.

Those probably included a significant chunk of New Hampshire voters, many of whom put their allegiance to the Red Sox above politics.

CNN's post-debate analysis and highlights didn't fare any better. The TV winner was Tony Soprano as the penultimate episode of HBO's mob-and-family drama, "The Sopranos," was seen in 5.19 million homes and by 8.01 million viewers beginning at 9 p.m."

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Joe Morgan says Mo threw a "slider"---John Sterling says Mo doesn't throw one

John Sterling mentions tonight on Yankee radio, he caught the ESPN replay of the 9th inning of the Yankee-Red Sox game last night. He notes Joe Morgan said one of Mariano Rivera's pitches was a "slider," but John says Mo doesn't throw a slider. This is just for Joe Morgan watchers. ****************************************************** Just overheard on the Red Sox-Oakland radio play by play, note on the Orioles-Angels sad game lost by the Orioles with Guerrero's homerun...the Oakland play by play guy says it's now out that the pitcher preceding closer Chris Ray had asked Sam Perlozzo to go to the bullpen. Even though Sam had to bring in Chris Ray, it hadn't been his intention to do so. Other recent situations have come up where Perlozzo got the heat, so wanted to clear this one up.

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A Pseudo Yankee fan blog--Bronx Blather is out at home

A supposed big-time Yankee fan blog comes up with these statements about last night's Yankee-Red Sox game: "That set up what was just Mariano Rivera's second save opportunity in the last month."
  • Funny stat to isolate. A month I guess being 30 days, although on May 3 Mo had 2 Saves in 1 day for the 5th time in his career but the author just clipped it by one day, so no mention. Actually, it was Mo's 2nd save opportunity in a week (last being May 30, and prior to that May 3rd).
Then this author strangely says, "Mo battled Ortiz for ten pitches, including six straight fouls, throwing pitch after pitch right to Jorge Posada's glove. The tenth pitch just missed however."
  • According to MLB Gameday and The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan, Mo battled Ortiz for 11 pitches, not 10, including 7 straight fouls, not 6.
"David Ortiz led off the Red Sox ninth and battled Mariano Rivera for 11 pitches -- including seven fouls in a row -- before lining hard to Abreu." (Boston Globe) The purported Yankee blogger continues, giving such detail he presents himself as a combination genious/baseball media darling. Or was he actually inside the baseball? No, scratch that, he got the # pitches and fouls wrong.
  • "Jorge called for the ball right under Ortiz's hands and Rivera missed out over the plate and Ortiz crushed it. By then, however, the game was being played in a driving rainstorm and the rain, the wind, and the topspin on the ball conspired to drop Ortiz's drive into Bobby Abreu's glove for the first out."
RIGHT. YOU MEAN ALL THESE ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS DIDN'T MAKE RIVERA'S JOB HARDER, TOO? No, big time Yankee blogger says, just the hitter. I'm not going to double check on this statement, the author has already demonstrated he's a waste of time. The blog of course was Bronx Banter.

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Plate appearances, Mariano v Papelbon they don't mention

These stats about Rivera and Papelbon haven't been covered so far:
  • Manny Ramirez has faced Rivera 50 times (41 reg. season, 9x post season)
  • David Ortiz has faced Rivera 26 times (20 reg. season, 6x post season)
  • Alex Rodriguez has faced Papelbon 5 times (never in the post season)
Once in a great while the overall topic of familiarity has been mentioned in passing, but never in detail. Roger Rubin's column today was a good example of picking certain stats to achieve a result he wanted. Mr. Rubin, Papelbon has not had one complete year in the major leagues much less up to 3 levels of post season play. Your comparisons are misleading, but like others, maybe you fear the avalanche of negative email you'll get if you don't put things a certain way.
  • IN FACT, THE LAST TIME HE FACED THE YANKEES IN 2006 WAS AUGUST 20 WHEN HE BLEW THE SAVE. PRIOR TO THAT HE HADN'T HAD A 'SAVE' VS THE YANKEES SINCE MAY 11, 2006. He didn't figure in the decisions between those times on June 8 and May 23.

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Mariano Rivera

Kurkjian and Nightengale should've listened to Papelbon when he said it was Mo.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Run support vs "wins" stat

The selective use of the "wins" stat is another form of bullying that many people take like a slap. The Josh Beckett "wins" have come with the highest run support in the American League coming into tonight--8 and a half runs per game. (Per Suzyn Waldman in the top of the 6th). The "wins" stat is used to suit certain purposes and can be quite misleading. But then so many people are whimps and like being bullied.

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New study--Human Growth Hormone alone doesn't help

Partly funded by ***World Anti-Doping Agency***, study says HGH alone doesn't help athleticism:
  • "Human growth hormone must be taken alongside testosterone if it is to have any impact on muscle mass, strength or speed, according to surprising new findings released by the Garvan Institute in Sydney.

Scientists say their study, partly funded by the World Anti-Doping Agency, helps develop new drug tests and brings the international sporting community closer to stamping out cheats.

The world-first project evaluated the effects of genetically-modified growth hormone used either alone or with testosterone, a combination Sylvester Stallone recently admitted taking for an undisclosed medical condition.

Both drugs are illegal for sports purposes but are widely abused by both recreational and professional athletes, most famously Chinese swimmers at the 1998 World Swimming Championships.

"We were surprised to find that human growth hormone has no effect on muscle mass or sports performance," said lead investigator Professor Ken Ho, who will release his results at a world endocrinology meeting in Canada.

It did boost overall body mass, due largely to fluid retention, but did not affect muscle mass or overall sports performance."

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Klapisch just said this to Suzyn Waldman on her Yankee pre-game radio report. Klapisch is a tool and an opportunist--why not, everyone else does it. But he beaned someone in the New York v Boston media game today (per Peter Abraham's Lohud Yankee blog), so I thought I'd listen to his rap for one day. He said what he thinks is wrong with the team and Cano made the list. I haven't followed the kid around, I know he does a lot of charity appearances, has helped Melky, etc. but something else is going wrong for a guy to be as careless and sloppy as he is. Coaches and managers can't be with the kid 24 hours a day.
  • Any baseball fans a little tired of being taken for granted, having your heart broken? Call for a curfew, trades won't help. This is out of hand.

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Hal Steinbrenner, the new Boss, "detests dealing with the media."

  • Best news all year for Yankee fans--Hal Steinbrenner seems to realize that dealing with baseball media mafia is a no-win situation. (Which is also why we need more in baseball like 38pitches.com, Curt Schilling's blog. What would these guys do if they couldn't hang around and watch athletes undress?)

"While he will make periodic trips to New York, he is expected to maintain a low profile, in direct contrast to his father's style.

  • His friends say that Hal detests dealing with the media - unlike The Boss, who loved sparring with reporters and criticizing players and personnel until health problems curtailed his front and back page appearances.

"But make no mistake," another source said, "Hal has stepped forward here. If nothing else, he's looking after his own interest and filling the power vacuum with the concerns about his dad's health."

Meanwhile, another club source insisted that no front office changes are currently being contemplated. It is doubtful that Hal Steinbrenner, in his newly minted role, is prepared to recommend to his father that Cashman or Torre be fired, especially since there are no suitable replacements for either."

From Bill Madden's NY Daily News column, 6/3/07, "Boss' Son Steps Up."

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Yankee Organization has Battered Wife Syndrome, NY Daily News case in point

The mistaken notion is that endless abuse is part of being the Yankees, but people forget how the average schoolyard bully succeeds so well at his craft. The NY Daily News can do whatever they want, but why are the Yankees giving them a glittering, gracious showcase on Yankee radio every day with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman?
  • Peter Abraham on his Lohud Yankee blog yesterday related Joe Torre objecting to the Daily News headline saying he told A-rod to "Shut Up." Peter's point was to defend the Daily News beat writer, saying someone else makes up the headline but the beat writer "takes the heat." The "heat?" The beat writer in question is an international celebrity, whose image just went up another notch, has his picture in the paper every day and is graciously interviewed on Yankee radio everyday.
Whether or not the beat writer makes up the headline, this again shows Yankee "Battered Wife Syndrome," by continuing to provide an editorial showcase for the Daily News in every game. (For the most part, these segments for years have been a tune-out. Occasionally Anthony McCarron has been worth hearing, but that's it).
  • The Yankee fans hear and see constant battering of themselves, the team, and its individual players--the internet, fueled by anonymous floods of hateful email and commenting has helped.
The Daily News beat writer made a cutting remark about the team in one of his recent appearances on Yankee radio and was glorified for doing so by the paper's sports media columnist, Bob Raissman, in a subsequent edition, gushing that the Daily News' own employee gets the credit for a big put-down of the Yankees. He doesn't mention this great victory of their "own" reporter was while he held hostage the Yankee radio broadcast, that is, during his scheduled daily appearance on the broadcast. What could Sterling and Waldman do about it? Nothing, because they're too gracious.
  • Today's Daily News Lupica headline says Joe Torre should "pipe down," referencing Torre's unhappiness with the "Shut-Up" headline. Fine. But the Yankee fan can't even follow the team anymore as the media are all negative and hateful. Forget focusing on the local aspect of baseball reporting. Those days are long gone. It's all national now. That's where writers' futures lie. (Read ESPN, BBWAA, etc.)
In case you forgot, nothing stops the school yard bully except getting back the same treatment. The average Yankee fan like the average US citizen has been beaten into a malleable pulp, told he must be "tolerant" and "giving." Smack me again he says, like the battered wife.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Tim Kurkjian & Tom Verducci--peddlers of the A-rod joke

Guys like Tim Kurkjian and Tom Verducci have created and made money peddling a persona of Alex Rodriguez. But now we (the customers) have Arod's own actions, confirmed many times over. Verducci was apparently sold on an image he then sold the world:
  • A brooding Arod, holding his head in his hands, wanting so much to succeed.
  • An Arod desperate, desperate to be liked (especially by Jeter).
  • An Arod terribly concerned about his "image," a tortured soul.
  • The face of baseball.
  • 2 time MVP, Hall of Famer.
  • If only Jeter would open up to Arod, then he'd be fine.
Kurkjian put Arod on the cover of his new book and speaks adoringly of him. Aside from what Arod did in his spare time, what's clear is his preoccupation is not with hitting in the clutch, catching and throwing accurately, etc. Concerns about his image, whether he is liked, etc. probably exist but not related to what baseball fans care about. By his actions, we know he's almost nothing like the person the baseball media guys have wasted our time selling us. His off the field interests are his primary obsession, not baseball.
  • P.S. Kurkjian on WFAN with Mike and Chris promoting his book, they ask him where he's from. Kurkjian's reply: "I'M FROM THE BOSTON AREA BUT I'M NOT A FAN OF ANY ONE TEAM." You may or may not be, Tim, but you're definitely not a saint. So, you don't get to annoint yourself as bias free about anything.


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